WASHINGTON: US employment growth ground to a halt in August, reviving recession fears and piling pressure on both President Barack Obama and the Federal Reserve to provide more stimulus to aid the frail economy. For the first time in nearly a year the economy failed to create new jobs on a net basis according to the Labour Department’s monthly nonfarm payrolls survey on Friday. Economists had expected non-farm employment to rise 75,000 last month but they cautioned against viewing the data as a surefire sign of recession. With the jobless rate stuck above 9% and confidence collapsing, President Barack Obama faces pressure to come up with ways to spur job creation. The health of the labour market could determine whether he is re-elected next year.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 4th, 2011.