The economy added only about 100,000 private sector jobs last month - far fewer than had been expected.
And as NPR's Wendy Kaufman reports, a close reading of the numbers reveals that many of those jobs are low wage.
WENDY KAUFMAN, BYLINE: Some of the nation's job growth has been in places like this - a suburban mall near Seattle. While many shoppers aren't spending like they did before the economic crash, they are buying more than they did a couple of years ago.
Good morning. I'm Renee Montagne. When a runner, originally from Sudan, ran the Sioux Falls Marathon and shattered the world record by 25 minutes, he was as shocked as everyone else. Maybe I'm lost. I don't know, Olok Nykew told a reporter at the finish. Turns out, he was correct. According to the Sioux Falls Argus Leader, he had arrived late to the race. He ran the wrong route - the half marathon. I'm not cheating. I was just confused, he said. It's MORNING EDITION. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright National Public Radio.
The presidential candidates are toning it down, we're told, on this 9/11. They'll stop their negative ads, they have said. But, of course, the campaigning will continue all fall. And Mitt Romney spent yesterday in Ohio. Over the weekend, Vice President Biden was there, as well. The Midwestern state is becoming like a second home to candidates in this presidential election season.
With the Chicago Teachers Union on strike, the Chicago Public Schools opened more than 140 sites Monday to help provide child care for students affected by the strike. Renee Montagne speaks with Lorraine Forte, editor-in-chief of Catalyst Chicago, a nonprofit watchdog covering education in the city. She visited a couple of schools on Monday that are providing child care, and also went to an alternate site at a local community center.
It was a major accomplishment in Chicago that teachers who used to walk out frequently had, for the past 25 years, managed to avoid a strike. But it's not surprising, many experts say, that things would fall apart now.
"I think it is a perfect storm," says Tim Knowles, head of the University of Chicago's Urban Education Institute. He says issues in Chicago — of tying teacher pay to student test scores, job security, longer school days and expanding charter schools, for example — are not unlike issues unions have grappled with in other cities, from New York to Los Angeles.
Our last word in business today is: soda diplomacy. The long isolated Southeast Asian nation of Myanmar, also known as Burma, is now undergoing dramatic political reform and opening up to the outside world. The U.S. recently lifted sanctions and sent an ambassador there. And what comes next? Coca-Cola.
The Atlanta Symphony Orchestra and its musicians are at an impasse. The players' contract expired at the end of last month. The symphony is facing a $20 million budget deficit, and it's seeking millions in concessions from the musicians. Both sides say they want to reach an agreement, but they've left the bargaining table, putting the orchestra's 68th season in jeopardy.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney's proposal to overhaul the tax code continues to draw scrutiny.
Romney says it is possible to cut tax rates without driving the government deeper into the red, and that he can make up for the lost revenue by closing tax loopholes. But analysts have had a hard time testing Romney's claim because he hasn't offered many specifics.
When he was pressed by NBC's David Gregory this weekend to give an example of a loophole he would close, Romney didn't offer much detail.