US economy adds 96K jobs, rate falls to 8.1 pct.


Only 96,000 new jobs were created last month, that's 35,000 fewer than expected. The jobless rate fell to 8.1 percent, but only because a lot of people gave up looking. In fact, the U.S. work force has fallen to its lowest level in 31 years.

People are finding jobs, but not fast enough. The latest figures indicate job creation continues to fall short of new people entering the work force. And job creation is too weak to make a positive impact on the jobless rate.

As the presidential campaign swings into high gear, voters see labor situation as a key issue, "The fact that job rates have been deplenishing a lot is going to cause them to want to find a president who will help them get jobs and create jobs for the people, and that's what it ultimately comes down to," San Jose resident Bryce Busey said.

Prof. John Taylor at the Hoover Institution served as a senior economic adviser to three Republican presidents and as Undersecretary of the Treasury. He believes fallout from the latest jobs report will help Gov. Mitt Romney in his bid for the White House, "It does illustrate, I think, the importance of a change in policy. I hope it brings people together in Washington to deal with it because so much of this is really caused by policy."

With polls showing the two candidates neck and neck, the block of unemployed voters may become crucial. David Cohen is communication director for the Santa Clara County Democratic Party. He thinks jobless Americans will not blame President Obama for their economic trouble, "Those voters are smart and they will understand which policies are really the ones that will help them improve the economy."

There will be one more jobless report between now and the election. And voters will be making an important choice.

"They're not going to want that guy in the White House. You know, they're not going to want some guy who's going to keep screwing up the economy. We want someone that's going to help us out," Kyle Busey said.

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has called the jobless rate a grave concern. That could be an indication the Fed might be considering a third round of stimulus when it meets next week.

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