U.S. employers added 96,000 jobs last month, a weak figure that could slow any momentum President Barack Obama hoped to gain from his speech to the Democratic National Convention.
The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July, but only because more people gave up looking for work. The government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively searching.
The Labor Department also says 41,000 fewer jobs were created in July and June than first estimated. The economy has added just 139,000 jobs a month since the beginning of the year, below 2011's average of 153,000.
The bleak report comes just two months before Election Day, and the economy is the top issue on most voters' minds.
White House reaction to August employment report
"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," wrote Alen Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers on The White House website.
"It is critical that we continue the policies that are building 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."
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Romney: Jobs report a hangover after Obama speech
BOSTON (AP) - Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney says the latest disappointing jobs report shows President Barack Obama's policies are not working and the country deserves new leadership.
Romney says news that employers created only 96,000 jobs last month is giving Americans a hangover the morning after Obama's closing speech to the Democratic National Convention.
The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July, but only because more people gave up looking for work.
The Republican called the news "more of the same for middle-class families who are suffering through the worst economic recovery since the Great Depression."
Romney released the statement before a campaign trip to Iowa. He says his economic plan will create 12 million new jobs by the end of his first term.
US futures surrender gains on weak jobs report
NEW YORK (AP) - A weaker-than-expected jobs report has cost U.S. stock futures most of their early morning gains.
Dow Jones industrial futures are unchanged at 13,275. The broader S&P 500 futures are up 3 points at 1,434. Nasdaq futures are up 2 points at 2,828.
Dow futures had been up about 40 points before the report.
Ryan says jobs report sign of failed leadership
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Republican vice presidential nominee Paul Ryan says the latest unemployment report shows the economy is "limping along" as a result of failed leadership and bad fiscal policy coming from the Obama administration.
Ryan says news that employers added just 96,000 new jobs in August "is not even close to what a recovery looks like."
He commented during an interview with CNBC before a campaign appearance in Nevada.
The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent in August, down from 8.3 percent in July. But the drop was only because more people gave up looking for work.
Ryan says he and Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney will push for low tax rates, economic growth and regulatory reform to help employers create jobs.
Oil falls below $95 after US jobs report
NEW YORK (AP) - The price of oil is falling after the government reported the U.S. added fewer jobs than expected last month.
Benchmark crude is down 59 cents to $94.94 around 10 a.m. Eastern time Friday. Before the jobs report, oil was gaining as traders remained confident that the European Central Bank's latest bond-buying plan will go a long way to resolving Europe's debt crisis.
U.S. employers added 96,000 jobs last month, a weaker-then-expected figure. The unemployment rate fell, but only because some people stopped looking for work.
The government also said Friday that fewer jobs were created in July and June than first estimated. The economy has added just 139,000 jobs a month since the start of the year.