July Jobs Report A Mixed Bag For Obama, Republicans
Campaigns play up positives and negatives in latest jobs numbers report
Employers added 163,000 jobs to the economy in July, while the employment rate rose slightly to 8.3 percent from 8.2 percent in June, according to a report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday.
The unemployment rate for African Americans, which rose from 13.6 to 14.1 percent in June, remained unchanged in July. The jobless rate for Hispanics, however, decreased slightly to 10.3 percent from 11 percent in June.
Shortly after the report's release, the White House and Republicans were using the report to drive home their election messages.
Alan Krueger, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, said the July report is evidence that the U.S. economy continues to recover from "the worst downturn since the Great Depression."
“It is critical that we continue the policies that build an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007,” Krueger said in a statement released Thursday morning.
Krueger also added that President Obama’s American Jobs Act, stalled in Congress by House Republicans, contains further investments in infrastructure that would speed up the recovery.
Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney’s campaign is playing up the negatives in the new jobs report.
“Today's increase in the unemployment rate is a hammer blow to struggling middle-class families,” Romney said in a statement release Friday morning. “President Obama doesn’t have a plan (to rescue the middle class) and believes that the private sector is ‘doing fine.’ Obviously, that is not the case. Middle class Americans deserve better, and I believe America can do better.”
No incumbent president since World War II has been re-elected to the White House with unemployment above 8 percent, the Associated Press reports.