Business: Slow Recovery

The good news from Washington on unemployment was that the jobless total dropped 595,000 in August to 4,669,000, lowest since January, as employment rose to 65,367,000. The bad news was that the rate of unemployment edged to 7.6% of the labor force (see chart), close to the postwar peak of 7.79% set during the coal strike in October 1949.

The jobless ratio rose because unemployment did not go down as much as it should have, considering seasonal factors. Actually, much of the dip in the unemployment total came from students who gave up looking for summer jobs—a move that was discounted by...

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