Obama, Romney comment on unemployment numbers
The Federal Labor Department released the July unemployment report on Friday. It shows jobs were added around the country, but also shows the unemployment rate rose. As YNN's Zack Fink reports, both republicans and democrats are trying to put their own spin on the numbers.
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UNITED STATES -- Seizing on what many economists are calling a weak recovery, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney seized on the unemployment rate ticking up and put the blame squarely on the President.
Romney said, "It's another hammer blow to the struggling middle class families of America. Because the President has not had policies that put American families to work. I do. I'll put them in place and get America working again."
According to the U.S. Labor Department, in July, the nation added 163,000 non-farm private sector jobs. However, the unemployment rate actually rose a tenth of a percent to 8.3 percent.
President Obama was sober about the new numbers, but he cautioned that the policies advocated by his opponent are not the answer.
"We are not going to get there. We are not going to get to where we need to be if we go back to the policies that helped create this mess in the first place," Obama said.
As always, economic data are subject to interpretation. Romney points out that the unemployment rate has now been above eight percent for 42 months. That's the longest period in U.S. history. The Obama Administration counters that the number of jobs added in July was the highest in five months.
"What is important to talk about is where we've come from. When this President took office we were shedding 800,000, 700,000 jobs per month. Now we have been adding jobs. In the last 29 months, 4.5 million private sector jobs. But we have to do better," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis.
Presidents have both benefited from a strong economy and taken the blame when it turns sour. Only three more months of economic data will be made available to the public before the election, with those final numbers for October being released just a few days before Election Day.