The engine of growth remains in low gear, it seems, and it’s not just in a few isolated pockets around the nation. While the overall employment numbers for July were disappointing at best, the state by state breakdown provides an even more alarming glimpse at precisely how little ground we are making in terms of a sustainable economic recovery. The Hill reports that only a handful of states didn’t register losses during the period in question.

Close to 90 percent of states saw their unemployment rates rise in July, a potentially worrisome development for President Obama’s reelection campaign.

The Labor Department reported Friday that 44 states in all saw their jobless rate go up, with four states seeing no change at all. Only Idaho and Rhode Island — along with Washington, D.C. — saw their rates drop last month…

Even though the unemployment rate remains north of 8 percent, some analysts expected Obama to get a boost because many of the swing states that both campaigns are targeting have jobless rates below the national average.

But among the dozen or so states that both parties are contesting, only Ohio — which saw its rate stay at 7.2 percent — did not see an increase in July.

Nevada is back up to 12%. New Hampshire – with one of the most enviable unemployment rates in the nation – also saw an uptick to 5.4%. Pennsylvania and Wisconsin both notched up a .3% increase. If these are the states the President is counting on to carry him over the finish line, he might not want to mention that three four letter word – Jobs – too often. (Hat tip… Joe Biden.)

Even California, a state which has actually been producing a positive number of jobs per month in 2012, is still struggling.

“I’m looking for anything,” said a woman named Pam at the Verdugo Jobs Center in Glendale, CA. “At my age, no one wants to hire me.”

She says she has done secretarial work and worked in merchadising. Now she’s hoping to become a house cleaner.

But hey… let’s not dwell on the past. Things could always turn right around in August and get us back on track, right? Maybe, but Gallup doesn’t seem to be sparkling with enthusiasm.

New Gallup unemployment data suggest an increase in the government’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for August when it is reported on Friday, Sept. 7. During recent months, Gallup’s measurements have been more optimistic than those of the BLS. Barring a sharp reversal in this relationship, the government’s unadjusted unemployment rate might be expected to stay the same or increase in August…

Trying to guess the U.S. unemployment rate has been a thankless task in 2012, even using Gallup’s 30,000 interviews as a basis for estimation — even worse than trying to guess the results of the government’s establishment survey. However, like ADP’s (Automatic Data Processing) estimates of the establishment survey results, Gallup’s numbers have been close to the household survey results much of the time.

Regardless, barring heroic adjustments or a sharp change in direction, Gallup data suggest the seasonally adjusted U.S. unemployment rate for August will increase — possibly substantially — when announced in early September.

Apparently this is what change looks like. And the Summer of Wreckovery marches on.