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Job growth in August stagnant, figures show

by Jorge Hernandez on September 2, 2011

The latest figures from the Department of Labor are not encouraging for those fearing a double-dip recession. The U.S. economy added no jobs in August, marking the first time in 11 months that the country saw no job growth, The New York Times reports.

The cause of the stagnant market is due to a number of factors. The nation's economy was held captive by a prolonged debate in Washington over the debt ceiling, which resulted in the U.S. losing its triple-A credit rating and a volatile few weeks in the stock market. Other analysts pointed to this uncertainty as a reason for a drastic lack of confidence.

"Business confidence surveys have uniformly pointed to businesses who are not laying off workers, but who are holding off on hiring while they wait for a clearer outlook – an outlook that became much cloudier and more volatile" economist Ellen Zentner told the Times.

Among the specific details unveiled in the monthly report is the surprising loss of jobs in two categories that had been strong. Both the manufacturing and retail industries reported losses, which counteracted the 29,700 jobs added in the health care sector.

The statistics have stoked fears once again that the country will enter in to another recession. While most experts agree that it hasn't slipped back into one yet, the threat is still very real over the coming months.

We're going to be very sensitive to any kind of shocks going forward," economist John Silvia told The Huffington Post. "Looking forward to some of the big events coming in the fall: a new congressional committee or another potential shock from Europe, yeah we could easily get into another dip."

The release of the statistics comes less than a week ahead of the September 8 speech by President Obama where he will lay out his job creation plan.

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