When the Labor Department reported last month that the economy had added just 92,000 new jobs in July, the chairman of George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisors said not to worry. "I think the job numbers, although slightly lower than the previous month, are still within range and we still think of these as good, solid numbers," Ed Lazear said Aug. 3. "The most important story that this tells is not so much in terms of levels, it's not that job growth is high or low, but rather that job growth continues even in the period during which we're seeing some changes in the U.S. economy, most of which are positive."
It looks like it's time for a new "story" to tell.
The job numbers for August were released this morning, and they show that the economy actually lost 4,000 jobs last month.
It's the first time in four years that the economy has actually lost jobs in a month, and that wasn't the only bad news. The 92,000 jobs the economy supposedly gained in July? The Labor Department has just revised that number down to 68,000. And the 126,000 jobs the economy was thought to have added in June? Now the Labor Department says the real number was just 69,000.
The biggest losers: August saw the loss of 46,000 manufacturing jobs and 22,000 construction jobs.