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July jobless: 8.3% (8.2% June), 163,000 jobs created/Major presidential issue

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Source: White House

WASHINGTON--The jobless rate for July is 8.3 percent, up from 8.2 percent in June, with 163,000 jobs created; the numbers released Friday morning--showing very slow growth and a stall in getting unemployment down--continue to create political opportunities for GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Romney's allies--the Crossroads SuperPac has been running an ad blasting President Barack Obama for going 41 months with the jobless rate over 8 percent--Friday marks the 42nd month.

Romney statement:

"Today's increase in the unemployment rate is a hammer blow to struggling middle-class families. Yesterday I launched my Plan for a Stronger Middle Class that will bring more jobs and more take home pay. My plan will turn things around and bring the economy roaring back, with twelve million new jobs created by the end of my first term. President Obama doesn't have a plan and believes that the private sector is 'doing fine.' Obviously, that is not the case. We've now gone 42 consecutive months with the unemployment rate above eight percent. Middle class Americans deserve better, and I believe America can do better."

White House Economic Advisor Alan Kruger

While there is more work that remains to be done, today's employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing 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. To build on the progress of the last few years, President Obama has proposed an extension of middle class tax cuts that would prevent the typical middle class family from facing a $2,200 tax increase next year. In addition, to create more jobs in particularly hard-hit sectors, President Obama continues to support the elements of the American Jobs Act that have not yet passed, including further investment in infrastructure to rebuild our Nation's ports, roads and highways, and assistance to State and local governments to prevent layoffs and rehire hundreds of thousands of teachers and first responders.

Today's report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that private sector establishments added 172,000 jobs last month, and overall non-farm payroll employment rose by 163,000. The economy has now added private sector jobs for 29 straight months, for a total of 4.5 million jobs during that period.

The household survey showed that the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.3% in July (or, more precisely, the rate rose from 8.217% in June to 8.254% in July). Acting BLS Commissioner John Galvin noted in his statement that the unemployment rate was "essentially unchanged" from June to July.

The establishment survey indicated that manufacturing employment continues to expand and manufacturers added 25,000 jobs in July. After losing millions of manufacturing jobs in the years before and during the recession, the economy has added 532,000 manufacturing jobs since January 2010 - the strongest growth for any 30-month period since June 1989. Within manufacturing, motor vehicles and parts added 12,800 jobs in July, its strongest monthly growth since January 2011, partly reflecting fewer seasonal layoffs last month. To continue the revival in manufacturing jobs and output, President Obama has proposed tax incentives for manufacturers, enhanced training for the workforce, and measures to create manufacturing hubs and discourage sending jobs overseas.

Other sectors with net job increases included professional and business services (+49,000), education and health services (+38,000), leisure and hospitality (+27,000), and wholesale trade (+9,200). Within leisure and hospitality, restaurant employment rose by 29,400 jobs. Government lost 9,000 jobs as State government payrolls fell by 6,000. Local governments shed 7,000 education jobs. Since February 2010, State and local governments have lost 485,000 jobs.

As the Administration stresses every month, the monthly employment and unemployment figures can be volatile, and employment estimates can be subject to substantial revision. Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report and it is informative to consider each report in the context of other data that are becoming available.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi statement:

Washington, D.C. - Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi released the following statement today after the Department of Labor announced that the economy added 163,000 jobs and the unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent in July. With private businesses adding 172,000 jobs, this marks the 29th consecutive month of private sector job growth:

"Last month, 163,000 jobs were created despite Republicans' refusal to work with President Obama and Democrats to create jobs, grow our economy, and ensure the economic security of our middle class.

"With too many Americans still out of work, the message remains clear: we must do more. The last thing the American people need right now is more uncertainty, more unfairness, and higher taxes on working families and small businesses. Yet House Republicans continue to stand as the lone roadblock to a middle class tax cut - preferring to hold tax relief for 100 percent of Americans hostage to extra tax breaks for the top 2 percent. Now, Republicans have decided to head home rather than work in a bipartisan way to take action to put people back to work.

"Americans can't wait. It's time for Republicans to work with Democrats and bring more fairness, opportunity, and certainty to the middle class."

House Speaker John Boehner:

"Two years after the Obama administration declared, 'welcome to the recovery,' this much is clear: with 42 consecutive months of unemployment above eight percent, the private sector still isn't 'doing fine' and President Obama's economic plan did not work. While the president is telling small businesses 'you didn't build that,' his policies are making sure they can't.

"Any new job creation is welcome news -- but with unemployment still above eight percent and rising, and millions of Americans looking for work, it is insane to raise taxes on small businesses, as the president and his allies in the Democratic-controlled Senate propose. Ernst & Young says their tax hike will destroy more than 700,000 jobs. And yet, top Democrats say they're willing to let taxes rise on middle class families, tank our economy, and impose devastating cuts to our national security if they don't get their way. It's reckless, it's wrong, and House Republicans aren't standing for it.

"A group of 88 American economists warned that we need to stop all of the tax hikes scheduled for January 1 to prevent more damage to our economy. A bipartisan majority in the House voted to do so, and to make sure no middle class family or small business sees a tax increase. We also voted in May to replace the 'sequester' defense cuts insisted on by the president. The House is ready to act at a moment's notice this August on these, and the more than 30 jobs bills we've passed, if Senate Democrats get serious about addressing the threats to our economy and our national security."

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on August 3, 2012 8:11 AM.

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