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Weak jobs report nags Obama after not-so-strong convention speech

President Obama's convention speech last night hit all the notes he wanted. But he just didn't seem to want it that badly.

So Obama's getting tepid reviews for his somewhat-tepid speech, and now he has to contend with the tepid jobs report showing meager gains and an unemployment rate of 8.1 percent that seems artificially low because so many people are dropping out of the workforce.


PORTSMOUTH, N.H. -- His convention over, President Barack Obama ran smack into the harsh reality of a bleak new report on the nation's unemployment outlook Friday. Republican rival Mitt Romney pounced on the jobs figures as fresh evidence that it's time to put someone new in the Oval Office.

"We're going in the wrong direction," the GOP nominee said flatly.

Obama, for his part, admitted: "We need to create more jobs, faster."

Fresh out of the two national conventions, both Obama and Romney chose to campaign Friday in New Hampshire and Iowa, improbable battleground states in the too-close-to-call race.

Sixty days out from the election, the rivals were quick to roll out rival contexts for the new Labor Department report showing that U.S. employers added just 96,000 jobs last month, failing to meet expectations. The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July, but only because more people gave up looking for work.

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David Gergen described the jobs situation best in an opinion piece on CNN:

"In the past month, for every person who found a job, almost four people gave up hope and left the work force. The percentage of people in the work force today is the lowest in more than three decades -- and that is three years after the recovery supposedly began."

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