Oct. 8, 2004 – President Bush will face the last month of his re-election campaign with a total job loss of 821,000 since he took office, according to the last Labor Department report before the election.
Businesses added just 96,000 new jobs in September, much less than the 150,000 economists had predicted. The private sector remains reluctant to hire new workers, with government hiring accounting for 37,000 of the new jobs. The unemployment rate also remained at 5.4 percent last month. Over 200,000 stopped looking for work.
Manufacturing continues to be hit hard by the struggling economy, losing 18,000 jobs in September. The service sector continued to add jobs in such categories as professional and business services, financial services and in leisure and hospitality.
Analysts say the economy needs to create about 150,000 new jobs a month to keep pace with population growth. Bush is the first president since the Great Depression to end a term with a jobs deficit.