The creation of only 96,000 new jobs in August was disappointing, compared to a revised figure of 141,000 in July. And even more disappointing when compared to the monthly creation of 250,000 new jobs in January and February.
This confirms a consecutive three-year pattern, whereby the U.S. economy grows vigorously in the winter and slows down in the spring.
For the last six months, average monthly job creation has reached only 96,000 jobs. Even so, in August the unemployment rate went down to 8.1 percent, from 8.3 percent in July, mainly because the labor force decreased by 368,000 persons.
The percentage of the population in the labor force fell to 63.5 percent, a figure not seen since 1981.
However, this time the economy does not seem to be generating a clear winner in the next presidential election. Even the last disappointing report on job creation in August and the Republican and Democratic conventions left both candidates tied in a close race.
Last Monday, two daily tracking polls gave President Obama a slight 5 percent advantage. Quoted in USA Today, Gallup said Obama is up 49 to 44 percent, while for Rasmussen the president is ahead 50 to 45 percent.
Isaac Cohen is an international analyst and consultant, a commentator on economic and financial issues for CNN en Espaņol TV and radio, and a former director, UNECLAC Washington Office.
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