The nation's manufacturers shed a net 44,000 workers in August -- their 37th straight month of job losses. Bush, expressing concern about the continued decline of manufacturing, said Monday that he planned to appoint a new assistant Commerce secretary to help the sector.
But a GOP congressional staffer said Thursday that the White House simply plans to rename an existing Commerce job that was slated for elimination, and that -- far from being the administration's idea -- the change was required as part of the recently approved budget bill.
The nation's service sector cut a net 67,000 jobs in August, including 4,000 in retail trade, according to the Labor Department. Professional and business industries cut a net 28,000, the first decline in five months.
Among those adding workers were the construction industry (19,000) and the health and education sector (24,000).
Also adding jobs was the nation's temporary-help industry. But analysts said the 6,800-job increase by temp agencies, whose hiring is often considered an early indicator of recovery, was too small to offer much encouragement.