The monthly jobs report released Friday offered mixed reviews of the economy, with 169,000 jobs created in the past month, slightly short of the 177,000 projected. But the report also revised last month's numbers down sharply, to 104,000.
The AP provided some good news Thursday, as jobless claims reached a five-year low on the eve of the jobs report. But the AP also anticipated better numbers from Friday's release: "Economists expect it to show employers added 177,000 jobs, up from 162,000 in July. The unemployment rate is expected to remain 7.4 percent."
The New York Times noted there were "several discouraging details underneath a relatively average headline number, including a large drop in the share of Americans who are either working or looking for work. This measure, known as the labor force participation rate, was at its lowest level since 1978."
The mood in response to the jobs report was flat but with a measure of angst.
"Clearly the labor market is losing momentum," Lindsey M. Piegza, managing director and chief economist at Sterne Agee, told ABC News. Piegza also noted that the "labor force participation rate fell to 63.2 percent in August, the lowest since 1978."
The article went on to say "the participation rate has fallen by 1.6 percentage points since the beginning of 2010."Comment on this story
The slower jobs report may keep the Fed from raising interest rates, the Wall Street Journal reported: "The labor report is the last monthly snapshot of hiring trends that Fed officials will see before they meet on Sept. 17-18 and decide whether to start scaling back their $85 billion-a-month bond-purchase program meant to spur economic growth. The central bank signaled earlier this year it would pull back on the program if the economy continued to show improvement, and many economists believe it could start to do so as soon as this month."
The New York Times article also indicates the possibility the Fed would think twice about raising rates after the "disappointing" news in the report.