Gene Epstein‘s latest Barron’s column offers some bad news to those who would like to tout the president’s economic record.

Friday morning — the very morning after President Obama portrayed himself as a job-creator at the Democratic National Convention — the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported an increase of just 96,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in August. With downward revisions to prior months, the net gain was a meager 55,000.

Epstein notes that he’s less skeptical than other observers that the drop in the unemployment rate from 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent was “bogus.”

But an 8.1% rate of joblessness is still abominable by any standard. And two months into the third quarter, payroll growth is averaging just 119,000. At that rate, it will take more than three years for nonfarm payroll employment to climb back to its previous peak of January 2008.

Commenting on the employment data, Credit Suisse Chief Economist Neal Soss, echoing a Paul Simon song, rightly declares, “Still waiting after all these years.”