(Newsroom America) -- The nation's unemployment rate climbed to 8.3 percent though more jobs than expected were created last month, according to economists and government figures.
The Labor Department's Bureau of Labor Statistics said the economy created 163,000 new jobs in July, more than the 100,000 or so most economists predicted. But the department's household report also said 195,000 fewer Americans were actually working, which offset the gains and caused a slight increase in the unemployment rate.
The department said the national unemployment rate has now been above 8 percent for 41 consecutive months, the longest on record.
"The latest payroll numbers are encouraging after three months of weak job creation, but the figures still aren't enough to lower the unemployment rate, and hiring remains well below the pace set at the start of the year," The Wall Street Journal reported Friday.
The jobs numbers are likely to become fodder for both Democrats and Republicans. Campaigning at a truck equipment company in North Las Vegas Friday, Romney called the report a "hammer-blow to struggling middle class families."
"President Obama doesn’t have a plan and believes that the private sector is ‘doing fine.’ Obviously, that is not the case," said Romney. "We’ve now gone 42 consecutive months with the unemployment rate above eight percent."
President Obama is scheduled urge Congress to pass a tax-cut extension for the middle class around noon, where he is likely to cite the jobs growth figures over the unemployment rate.
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