The African-American unemployment rate for September is 12.9 percent, slightly lower than August's 13.0 percent, according to figures released by the U.S. Labor Department. The national unemployment rate fell to 7.2 percent from 7.3 percent.
The September report was released two weeks late because of the government shutdown and next month's report will also be delayed.
Employers added just 148,000 jobs to the economy, which is much lower than the 180,000 that economists had predicted. ADP in its monthly report on employment trends estimated that private sector jobs grew by 166,000. Construction, wholesale trade and transportation and warehousing were responsible for most of the gains.
"While job growth remained solid in September, there is no question that the focus of policy should be on how to achieve a faster pace of job growth by increasing certainty and investing in jobs, rather than the self-inflicted wounds of the past several weeks that increased uncertainty and inhibited job growth," said Jason Furman, chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. "Today’s delayed report describes the economy more than a month ago. More recent indicators suggest the labor market worsened in the month of October."
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor attributed slow job growth to what he said is Senate Democrats' unwillingness to support legislation passed by the lower chamber. He also called President Obama an "impediment" to a strong economic recovery and middle class.
"Unfortunately, the president has decided that he will not work with the House in a meaningful and bipartisan way to find common ground and help job growth. Senate Democrats have successfully obstructed nearly every bill passed in the House, without offering alternatives," Cantor said. "It's time for Republicans and Democrats to work together or we will continue to see modest growth, part-time jobs, and folks simply giving up on our economy and leaving the workforce."
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