US Job Growth Stalls

Posted September 2nd, 2011 at 10:30 am (UTC-5)
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Job growth stalled in the U.S. economy in August, leaving the unemployment rate at a relatively high 9.1 percent.

Friday’s report from the Labor Department shows no net gain of jobs in August, compared to an estimated net gain of 85,000 in July. Most economists had predicted the figures would show at least some gains in the job market. The August report is the weakest in nearly a year.

Employment rose in health care, fell in government, and was hurt by a strike at a major phone company.

Employers are reluctant to hire because of worries that painfully slow U.S. economic growth will hurt their sales and profits. Economic growth has been hurt by weakness in the consumer spending that drives most U.S. economic activity. Consumers worried about their jobs and facing high prices for energy and food lack the confidence in the future needed to make major purchases.

A member of U.S. President Barack Obama’s Council of Economic Advisors calls the jobless rate “unacceptably high” and says it is important to speed up economic growth to replace the jobs lost in the economic crisis. Katharine Abraham said while the overall figures show no gain in jobs, the private sector gained 17,000 while government employment fell.

Next Thursday, Mr. Obama will introduce a plan to stimulate the national economy and create jobs in a speech before a joint session of Congress.