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Jobs report is a mixed bag


Jobs report is a mixed bag

Adam Russett August 5, 2011

The jobs results for July are in and the numbers speak to a complicated truth – the economy isn't getting better, but it doesn't seem to be getting any worse, either. The Labor Department reports that 117,000 jobs were added last month, surpassing market expectations of 85,000. 

While unemployment dropped from 9.2 percent to 9.1 percent, most experts believe that this is the result of people leaving the workforce altogether. CNBC points out that there were fewer people working in July in the first place, especially considering the dismal numbers during that month. Still, the data comes just a day after the stock market suffered the worst losses since 2008 and the market seemed hopeful, rising by 1 percent this morning.

The news source reports that the results still aren't cheery.

"The drop in the unemployment rate is fairly illusory – stick all those people back in the workforce and you wipe out the job creation and the drop in unemployment… For once, some of the government’s other tools of economic voodoo didn’t help the count," CNBC's Jeff Cox wrote.

Now that the bickering over the debt deal is finally over, Republican presidential candidates have started to hammer away at the job numbers, too, despite the fact that employment didn't seem to be a priority of either party for the past few months.

Michele Bachmann claimed that the data showed that Obama's economic policies are digging the country into a bigger hole, according to CBS News.

Even more liberal-leaning organizations are apprehensive about the President's reelection chances, considering that most economists aren't seeing any substantial growth in the next year.

"At this point Reagan had similarly mediocre performance numbers," Brendan Nyhan, a political scientist, told The American Prospect. "None of the factors, as best we can tell, are looking like we’re going to get that kind of a bounce back. It would be shocking."