Jobless Numbers Point to Anemic Recovery

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The latest unemployment numbers are sending a mixed message about the slowing ecomony.

The unemployment rate hit 9.6 percent in August, a slight increase from 9.5 percent in July. Yet the private sector created 67,000 new jobs.

"Now that's positive news and it reflects the steps we've already taken to break the back of this recession, but it's not nearly good enough," President Barack Obama said Friday in response to the mixed results.

The new numbers do alleviate some worry of a double-dip recession.

"Are we experiencing a double-dip, are we in a double-dip, were we in a double-dip in the month of August? If you look at the employment numbers, you have to answer the question, 'clearly no.'" economist Hugh Johnson explained.

Still, job growth remains weak overall.

"Measured by employment, this is a very anemic recovery," Johnson said.

Those on the left are urging President Obama to push another massive stimulus bill to get the economy going faster.

"He should just go for another big round of cash to get this economy off the stalling speed it's at right now," Harvard economist Paul Krugman suggested.

Democrats in Congress, however, are trying to steer clear of anything with a big price tag on it as they head into the midterm elections. President Obama himself seems conflicted.

"Jobs are being created, they're just not being created as fast as they need to given the big hole that we experienced," he said.

Obama is even considering the more conservative answer -- big tax breaks that will allow Americans to keep more of their own money since permanent job creation can only come from the private sector.

"We're going to have to continue to work with Republicans and Democrats to come up with ideas that can further accelerate that job growth," the president said.

Analysts say the economy is still too weak to generate enough jobs to bring the unemployment rate down. Some expect the unemployment rate to hit a full 10 percent in the coming months.

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Paul  Strand

Paul Strand

CBN News Washington Sr. Correspondent

As senior correspondent in CBN's Washington, D.C., bureau, Paul Strand has covered a variety of political and social issues, with an emphasis on defense, justice, and Congress.  Follow Paul on Twitter @PaulStrandCBN and "like" him at Facebook.com/PaulStrandCBN.