The U.S. unemployment rate increased in August, reaching the highest number since February 2022, according to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report released Friday.

“There’s no question about it now: The labor market is weakening,” Alfredo Ortiz, chief executive officer and president of the Job Creators Network, said in a statement.

“August marks the third consecutive month with fewer than 200,000 jobs created,” he added.

“Prior months’ job creation numbers were also massively revised down by 110,000 in a trend that is becoming commonplace. And real wages grew slower than core inflation, continuing the nation’s decline in living standards,” Ortiz also said.

The U.S. economy added 187,000 jobs and the unemployment rate increased to 3.8% in August, the bureau reported.

“Given the challenges facing American small businesses, which create two-thirds of new jobs, this labor market weakness is no surprise. Small businesses are facing a one-two punch of high inflation and high interest rates due to Bidenomics,” Ortiz said.

He blamed President Joe Biden and Democrats in Congress:

President Biden and Congressional Democrats are directly responsible for this difficult economic environment due to their reckless spending and anti-energy industrial policy.

To overcome these challenges and allow small businesses to broadly hire and raise real wages again, Congress should advance legislation that implements the American Small Business Prosperity Plan, a pro-growth policy playbook that reduces inflation, increases access to credit, and improves the American small business environment.

EJ Antoni, a research fellow for regional economics in the Center for Data Analysis at The Heritage Foundation, also weighed in on Friday’s report. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s multimedia news organization.)

“Not only is the labor market slowing down, as expected, but previous data was overly rosy in their estimation. Every single month this year has seen its payroll numbers revised down,” Antoni told The Daily Signal in a statement. “It’s difficult to stress how unusual this is as it’s so statistically unlikely. There is clearly something wrong with the estimations being done by President Joe Biden’s Department of Labor.”

“While 187,000 jobs were added in August, 59% of those were jobs we thought we already had because the previous two months were revised so heavily downward,” Antoni added.

The September jobs report will be released on Oct. 6 at 8:30 a.m., according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

This is a breaking story and may be updated.

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