Mitt Romney on the offensive as America’s jobless rate shows a rise
Barack Obama faced mixed economic news yesterday, with more jobs reported last month but a higher unemployment rate – just a day after Republican presidential rival Mitt Romney promised that his economic programme will create 12 million jobs in the next four years.
The new statistics showed that private employers added 163,000 jobs in July, the best figures for five months. The jobless rate rose, however, to 8.3 per cent from 8.2 per cent in June.
Mr Romney jumped on the report, calling the figures a “hammer blow” to middle-class families.
“We’ve now gone 42 consecutive months with the unemployment rate above 8 per cent,” he said. “Middle-class Americans deserve better, and I believe America can do better.”
No American president since the Second World War has faced re-election with unemployment over 8 per cent. With a tight race, both candidates will be carefully watching the handful of such monthly reports remaining as the November election approaches.
White House economist Alan Krueger said the new report was evidence that the economy is recovering. “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,” he said.
The economy is by far the main issue for voters. While the overall race for the White House remains deadlocked, several polls show Mr Romney with an advantage on economic issues.
The president has sought to convince voters that the situation could have been far worse. He puts some of the blame for the sluggish recovery on congressional Republicans, accusing them of blocking his proposals for creating jobs.
Mr Romney likened Mr Obama to a “dog trying to chase its tail” when it comes to strengthening economic recovery. He said his economic policies would lead to creation of 12 million jobs over the first four years. His plan included several broad ideas but few specifics.
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Wednesday 19 June 2013
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