The monthly jobs report fell far short of expectations, but President Obama gets some sliver of good news as the unemployment rate falls to the lowest number of his administration. The economy added 96,000 non-farm jobs in August, but economists who study these things had expected around 130,000 new jobs. There were also downward revisions for June and July. But that key number that everyone looks at — the unemployment rate — dropped from 8.3 to 8.1 percent. That's almost down to that magic number of 8.0 that political analysts have been pointing to as a key to the President's re-election chances.
The bad news, of course, is that the reason the rate dropped is because the "labor force participation" rate also dropped by 367,000 workers, the lowest level in more than 30 years. Hopes had been raised slightly after the ADP employment report posted more than 200,000 new jobs just one day ago.
The bad news is also stoking rumors of a new round of quantitative easing by the Federal Reserve, as people call for more intervention to try and boost the economy.