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WASHINGTON – The Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released its August report. Unemployment is down by a paltry .1% to 8.1%. The Obama Administration was hoping for 130,000 jobs, however total non-farm payroll employment only posted 96,000. A disappointment by any measure. Employment increased in food services and drinking places, in professional and technical services, and in health care.

Alabama’s latest unemployment rate, which in April was 7.2%, climbed above the national average in July to 8.3%, taking some steam out of Republican legislators’ and Governor Robert Bentley’s claims that they had the right formula for job growth in the state.

Since the beginning of this year, the rate has held in a narrow range of 8.1 to 8.3 percent. The number of unemployed persons, at 12.5 million, was little changed in August.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.6 percent), adult women (7.3 percent), teenagers (24.6 percent), whites (7.2 percent), blacks (14.1 percent), and Hispanics (10.2 percent) showed little or no change in August. The jobless rate for Asians was 5.9 percent (not seasonally adjusted), little changed from a year earlier.

In August, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 5.0 million. These individuals accounted for 40.0 percent of the unemployed. The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) was little changed at 8.0 million in August. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.

Since the beginning of this year, employment growth has averaged 139,000 per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011. In August, employment rose in food services and drinking places, in professional and technical services, and in health care.

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