Not looking good. AMERICANS GIVE UP SEARCHING FOR WORK The weak tenor of the employment report was also emphasized by revisions to June and July data to show 41,000 fewer jobs created than previously reported. In addition, the labor force participation rate, or the percentage of Americans who either have a job or are looking for one, fell to 63.5 percent -- the lowest since September 1981. A total of 368,000 people gave up looking for work in August, the household survey showed. Since the beginning of the year, job growth has averaged 139,000 per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011. Economists blame fears of the so-called U.S. fiscal cliff -- the $500 billion or so in expiring tax cuts and government spending reductions set to take hold at the start of next year unless Congress acts -- and Europe's long-running debt problems, for the slowdown in hiring. Job creation last month was weak across the board, with manufacturing payrolls falling 15,000, the first decline since September last year. Factory jobs were inflated in July because automobile manufacturers kept plants running when they would normally shut them for retooling. There was little improvement in construction employment, which added 1,000 jobs. Temporary hiring fell 4,900, declining for the first time since March.