That’s how many Americans of working age were not in the workforce in August.
A lot of Trump’s rhetoric is about illegal immigration and immigration in general. But this dismal jobs report lets Trump connect the dots. Low skill immigration may make some sense in an economy operating at full employment; but the headline unemployment rate of 4.9% masks the effects of a historically low participation rate.
For Trump these numbers are a huge opportunity to pillory Hillary for serving in an administration which has done very little to improve the American economy. And he can slam her for avoiding any discussion of joblessness and what she might do about it.
The Hilly camp seem content to stay low and hope that Trump’s own negatives will defeat him. But that strategy assumes that Trump’s negatives – so obvious to Democrats – will actually matter to the American electorate as a whole. It is a strategy which assumes that the race was decided when Hilly enjoyed her post convention bump and that nothing will change before November 8. Assuming nothing will change in an eight week stretch of intense politics does not seem to me to be a winning strategy.
Hilly has two outings on September 5. I want to see if she has anything new to say, or even if she shows up more or less on time, but, at the moment, I am leaning towards calling Trump: or at least betting a dollar or two in that direction.