Nightly News | September 03, 2010
>>> turning to the u.s. economy and the latest reading on the job market for august. employers cut 54,000 workers from their payrolls, less than what analysts had predicted. the unemployment rate ticked up a notch -- 9.6% now -- as discouraged workers restarted their job search . it's a mixed picture here, but it's giving some encouragement to those who are out there looking, some who are hanging onto their jobs and their businesses by a thread. nbc's kristen welker reports from california.
>> reporter: bob crowe doesn't need to look at the economic numbers to know his business is in a slump.
>> i never thought i would be in this kind of situation, especially at my age.
>> reporter: at 73, crowe is planning for the worst, possibly closing shop. his family business flag crafters has been making signs for some of the biggest names in southern california for more than 30 years. but for the past year and a half, crowe has been cutting. his staff is now half. the remaining 19 employees are working for less money and no benefits. and crowe has used up most of his retirement savings trying to stay afloat.
>> we reached the point where we really can't cut employees and still be viable.
>> reporter: but today's job reports offers crowe some hope that things might get better. 67,000 jobs were added to the private sector.
>> we are still seeing modest job growth . i think that goes a long way to aleleviating a lot of the growing concern about the possibility of the economy double dipping.
>> reporter: however you interpret the latest economic figures, it's still a tough situation for workers here at flag crafters and at businesses throughout the country. but these employees say they are lucky they still have jobs. long lines formed quickly at this week's denver job fair . robert and cynthia tayon joined the ranks of the unemployed last month.
>> if i do have to change my career.
>> reporter: they didn't get lucky this day, but they plan to keep looking. for bob crowe , this business is his life's work and the employees, his family.
>> these guys aren't giving up. i'm not giving up.
>> reporter: signs of uncertain times with a long road ahead. kristen welker, nbc news, chula vista ,