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World Map / Upcoming Elections / US Presidential election 2016 / US Election Updates / Obama and Romney lock horns over poor jobs data

2016 Presidential Election
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US Election Updates - September 8, 2012

Obama and Romney lock horns over poor jobs data

A lackluster monthly U.S. jobs report posed as a slight dampener to President Barack Obama's post-convention bounce on Friday as he enters the final two-month drive to the November 6 elections.

The data was released just hours after Obama closed the Democratic National Convention on Thursday night in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Despite registering a convention-induced bounce of 46 percent compared to his Republican rival Mitt Romney's 44 percent, the bleak data served as a reminder to the incumbent of the challenge he faces in convincing voters to give him a second term.

Jobs growth slowed more than expected in August, with nonfarm payrolls rising only 96,000, according to the Labor Department.

The jobless rate dropped to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent but largely on the back of more Americans giving up to look for work.

Romney jumped on the release of the jobs data, slating Obama’s handling of the economy as he arrived for campaign events in Iowa.

"If last night was the party, this morning is the hangover," the former Massachusetts governor said in a statement issued by his campaign. "It is clear that President Obama just hasn't lived up to his promises and his policies haven't worked. We aren't better off than they were four years ago."

Meanwhile, Obama, who was back on the campaign trail in New Hampshire, highlighted the positive aspects of the figures, noting that the private sector had generated jobs for 30 consecutive months. However, he admitted to supporters: "It's not good enough. We need to create more jobs faster."

Hitting out at Romney, he pointed out that Republicans in Congress had blocked his jobs plan and accused his rival of making promises to bolster the economy but without telling voters how he would do it.

Obama entered office during the peak of the 2007-2009 recession and has managed to lower unemployment from 10 percent in his first year. However, he has struggled to crack the 8 percent barrier, a fact that Romney's campaign routinely stress.