(NEW YORK) — A total of 96,000 jobs were added in August, and the unemployment rate edged down to 8.1 percent, according to the Labor Department’s report released Friday.
Since the beginning of 2012, the unemployment rate has stayed in the narrow range between 8.1 and 8.3 percent, and it still possible that the unemployment rate could fall below eight percent (which would take it to its lowest level since President Obama took office).
The total number of unemployed people — 12.5 million, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics — changed only very little in August. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was five million, accounting for 40 percent of the total number of unemployed people.
Here’s a look at the numbers over the past two years.
IN THE PAST TWO YEARS:
Since September 2010, the economy has been steadily adding jobs.
TOTAL PRIVATE JOBS CREATED:
For 30 straight months, there has been private sector job growth, President likes to point out, with 4.6 million private sector jobs created in that time frame.
But for now, 2012 is faring worse than 2011 when it comes to employment. Since the beginning of 2012, employment growth has averaged 139,000 jobs per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011.
WHERE JOBS WERE ADDED:
Employment in food services and places that serve drinks increased by 28,000 in August.
Employment in professional and technical services rose 27,000.
Computer systems design and related services added 11,000 jobs, and management and technical consulting services added 9,000 jobs.
Health care employment rose by 17,000 in August. Ambulatory health care services and hospitals added 14,000 and 6,000 jobs, respectively.
Finance and insurance added 11,000 jobs in August. Employment in wholesale trade continued to trend up.
WHERE JOBS WERE LOST:
Manufacturing employment was down by 15,000.
And 7,000 government jobs were also lost this month.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Ralph Ellis, CNN
Heather Long, CNN