US adds 96,000 jobs, unemployment ticks down to 8.1%

Updated
 

The United States added 96,000 jobs last month, less than what many analysts expected, but the unemployment rate ticked down to 8.1%, according to a Labor Department report released Friday. Unemployment stood at 8.3% in July when the economy added 141,000 jobs.

U.S. job growth is averaging 139,000 each month this year, compared with 153,000 in 2011.

Many in the political sphere had questioned the impact the announcement the monthly jobs report would have on the presidential race with President Obama closing out the two weeks of conventions with his acceptance speech coming the night before.

“I think it’s a wash,” John Heilemann, national affairs editor at New York Magazine, said on Morning Joe in describing the report’s mixed results, less than a 100,000 jobs but a lower unemployment rate.

Mark Halperin, senior political analyst for Time magazine, disagreed, saying “going from 8.3% to 8.1%” unemployment will have a positive impact on the president’s campaign because of the downward trend while making it more difficult for Mitt Romney.

The polish of the Democratic National Convention and caliber of speeches, though, convinced much of Morning Joe panel, which was broadcasting live from Charlotte, N.C., where the Democratic National Convention was held, that Obama’s campaign would “move the needle,” on polling several points, as put by host Joe Scarborough.

 

US adds 96,000 jobs, unemployment ticks down to 8.1%

Updated