U.S. employers added 163,000 jobs in July, according the Labor Department's jobs report Friday. The unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent from 8.2 percent in June. If you haven't heard a spin on them yet, just wait for the next campaign speech from President Obama or Mitt Romney.
"It's a number that's better than a lot of economists thought it was going to be, but it's still not a good number," said Jim Tankersley, National Journal economics correspondent on The Daily Circuit Friday. "We're not creating nearly enough jobs to bring down the unemployment rate. I think more and more it looks like this is the sort of playing field we are going to have when voters make up their minds."
As Obama and Romney hit campaign stops, the economy is still a major issue and both candidates will spin the numbers in their favor. But do these jobs numbers actually have an impact on the outcome of the November election?
As an incumbent during a slow recovery, history would tell us that Obama will have a tough time winning a second term, Tankersley said.
"It's repeated quite often that since 1960, there have been four presidential elections featuring incumbents in which the unemployment rate has topped 7 percent: 1976, 1980, 1984 and 1992," wrote Frank James for NPR. "And only in 1984 did the incumbent, Ronald Reagan, keep his job."
But that isn't the whole story for Romney, Tankersley said.
"Poll after poll shows Romney beating Obama on voter's perceptions of who would do better with the economy," but the race is still deadlocked, he said. "So that suggests that Romney might need something else to break through here."
Kelly of White Bear Lake said he still isn't convinced either candidate has the solutions to fix the American economy.
"I, like a lot of people, gave Obama a chance four years ago," he said. "I would, however, like to hear more of what Mr. Romney's ideas are, see if he possibly has a solution to the economic problems. I haven't seen really any good answers from either President Obama or from Mitt Romney to really give me any hope that either one of them has the answers."
On Facebook, Mike Davidovich suggested distributing the blame currently placed on the president.
"I grow tired of people blaming the president for low job growth and the failing economy when all we hear about is a deadlocked Congress who can't make decisions for our economy," he wrote. "Why don't we hold our senators and represenatives just as --if not more -- accountable than the president? Yes we need his final signature, but he's not making the laws."
The problem lies with the Obama's administration pushing forward with recovery rhetoric when officials knew the stimulus wasn't enough, said Dean Baker, Center for Economic and Policy Research co-director on The Daily Circuit.
The recession "was going to be a very difficult thing to get out of," he said. "He never really clearly laid out the story... He hugely raised expectations."
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