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The U.S. added a modest 169,000 jobs in August, below the consensus forecast of 173,000, according to the Labor Department today (Sept. 6).

Employment gains for July and June were dropped by a combined 74,000; the decline in the unemployment rate to a four-and-a-half year low reflected the fact that more people stopped looking for jobs, reducing the labor force, according to MarketWatch.

The bottom line is that this is still a slow-growth economy nationally.

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Comments

JustWondering Sept. 6, 2013 @ 2:56 p.m.

Slow growth...that's an understatement! In January 2009 when Mr. Obama took over the Presidency the unemployment rate was 7.8%. Now, in August 2013 it's 7.3%. 56 months under the lead from behind style of leadership from this President we had a net change of .5%. Not a ringing endorsement. Especially when we consider "incredible shrinking labor participation rate". Millions of Americans have giving up even looking for a job. http://www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/wonkblog/post/the-incredible-shrinking-labor-force/2012/05/04/gIQANXAy1T_blog.html

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Don Bauder Sept. 6, 2013 @ 3:18 p.m.

JustWondering: From early 2009 to date, the U.S. has had an incredibly easy monetary policy. Short rates remain around zero to the banks, and the Federal Reserve has spent billions buying bonds and rancid derivatives to pound long rates down artificially. But housing, autos, other consumer spending, and capital expenditures have not responded as robustly as such staggeringly low rates should dictate.

President Obama can't get anything through Congress. Despite this loose monetary policy, there has been little progress. Keep in mind, though, that this calamity began in late 2007 and 2008, when George W. Bush was in office. Best, Don Bauder

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JustWondering Sept. 6, 2013 @ 3:53 p.m.

"...capital expenditures have not responded as robustly as such staggeringly low rates should dictate." And why is that? With all the easy incredibly low cost money the economy should be roaring, but it's not. My take... They don't have a "real belief or faith" in this President, his policies or, and probably equal in culpability, the Congress. With 70% of our economy tied to small business and the consumer, neither one trusts the Gov't no matter who's the Ringmaster in Washington's BigTop Circus.

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Don Bauder Sept. 6, 2013 @ 4:09 p.m.

JustWondering: That is one interpretation, and it is a legitimate one.

I will offer a second possibility. This weak economy may not be a matter of anemic loan demand. Despite the very low rates, the banks are being very cautious lending money out. Why? The Fed is telling them to be cautious.

Why? Because of the trillions of dollars of money creation, if the banks started loaning it out heavily, inflation would roar upward. The Fed itself is holding back the lending. Both Wall Street and the Fed are very happy with a weak economy. Best, Don Bauder

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Ponzi Sept. 7, 2013 @ 9:20 p.m.

Corporations are posting record profits. Things are very efficient these days. Why hire? Robots and automation are replacing people. The old thinking was technology created new jobs, but technology is taking away jobs faster than it is creating them. We have reached the end-of-work. People with no skills, low skills or no motivation to learn will be chronically unemployed. Doesn't matter if it's Obama sitting the the Oval Office or a republican. Low tech, low wage jobs are being automated at alarming speeds. The high demand for technology innovators, engineers and computer science is not met, so those jobs go to H-1B imported workers.

We need to follow Germany. We need to create an apprentice system again. I know people that go to SDSU to get an engineering or computer science degree, just to go back to Cuyamaca College to learn the actual stuff they need for a job. Computer Science at SDSU requires, for example, courses in physics - thermal dynamics. I have been in the computer science field my entire life and I have never needed to know anything about physics. In fact, most computer programmers really don't even need to know algebra. It helps, but it isn't a deal breaker.

We need to train people for specific technical vocations in 2-year certificate programs. People with good aptitudes can learn to be technicians in biotechnology, networking, robotics, healthcare diagnostics, and more.

Obama may disappoint many people, but I shudder to think of what would remain of our nation under the (never revealed) policies and administration of Mitt Romney. If we are concerned about jobs, we should be giving thanks that Romney lost. He would not have been anymore effective than Obama and probably damaging. Obama is letting the "invisible hand" move, even though it is moving very slowly.

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Don Bauder Sept. 7, 2013 @ 9:39 p.m.

Ponzi: It's hard to argue that technology is creating jobs these days. I agree we will be stuck with chronic unemployment for a very long time.

I agree with you that computer science majors at UCSD, particularly, and SDSU are forced to take math courses that don't help them on the job.

As to Mitt Romney: remember that he got caught on tape in a Florida speech saying he didn't give a hoot for the less fortunate in society. Best, Don Bauder

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MesaRunner Sept. 19, 2013 @ 12:33 p.m.

I don't see much of an excess in the math requirements for CS majors. Knowing the concepts helps in collaborative efforts with mathematicians.

We've been seeing chronic unemployment and under-employment in STEM fields since at least 1987. We used to have a de facto apprentice system before H-1B. Employers would invest in 2-12 weeks of new-hire training and 2 weeks or more per year of retained employee training. But they first eroded and then eliminated the tax breaks for interview expenses, relocation expenses, and much of the education and training expeenses and locked into bodyshopping, instead.

We've had a jobs dearth of about 30 million for a couple years (based on current and historical employment/population ratios from BLS).

That's a misrepresentation of what Mittens said.

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