The conventions are over. Back to reality. Friday morning, just hours after President Obama delivered his big address at the Democratic National Convention, the new unemployment figure was released – 8.1 percent in August, down from 8.3 percent the month before.

The slight decline may seem a political boon to Mr. Obama, but it reflects discouraged workers dropping out of the labor force. The economy added only 96,000 jobs last month, below expectations.