The unemployment rate fell to 7.3% in August, and 169,000 jobs were added, today's jobs report reveals. The rate had been expected to hold steady at 7.4%, but 175,000 new jobs were expected. On the decidedly bad-news front, the number of new jobs added in July was revised downward from 162,000, the AP reports. The new number: 104,000, the lowest number in more than a year. June was also revised downward for a total downward revision of 74,000 jobs.
The Wall Street Journal says this is "arguably one of the most important jobs reports of the year," since it comes just two weeks prior to the Fed's decision on whether to slow its bond purchases. "Pretty 'meh' figures," writes Steven Russolillo. "It's not a guarantee the Fed will taper in a few weeks." Adds Michael J. Casey, "The drop to 7.3% jobless rate is important, but the participation rate is horrible. This is not a strong labor market."