The U.S. economy added 173,000 jobs in August, while the unemployment fell to 5.1%, according to a report released Friday by the Labor Department.
The total number of new non-farm payroll jobs was about 50,000 lower than economists had expected, but that was tempered by the fact that estimates for job gains in June and July were revised up by a total of 44,000 jobs.
The unemployment rate, now at 5.1%, is now at the lowest rate since April of 2008, well before the beginning of the economic recovery. While that sounds like great news, much of that decline can be blamed on the fact that the labor force participation rate, or the ratio of folks in the labor market to Americans over the age of 16, remains at levels not seen since the late 1970s, before women began entering the job market in force.
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SOURCE: Fortune, Chris Matthews