Looming in the background as President Obama formally accepted his party's nomination for president Thursday night was the specter of the August jobs report. The White House had a little to cheer as the overall unemployment rate for August inched lower to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July. The African-American unemployment rate for August held steady at 14.1 percent.
When asked how a disappointing jobs report for African-Americans might make it difficult for them to feel like they're better off than they were four years ago, which has become a benchmark for voters when choosing a presidential candidate, a senior adviser for the president offered the company line: Monthly figures tend to be volatile and no single month is an indicator. The adviser also said that Black unemployment is down more than two percentage points from last year and conceded, "That's not good enough by any means," but also argued that the administration is heading in the right direction.
The government added 96,000 jobs in August. The economy has added just 139,000 jobs a month since the beginning of the year, below 2011's average of 153,000, according to the Associated Press.
"The hiring figures and unemployment rate will be among the most politically consequential of the campaign," writes the AP. "They arrive just as the presidential race enters its final stretch. Jobs are the core issue, and the report could sway some undecided voters."
There are only two more jobs reports due until the election on Nov. 6.
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(Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
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