U.S. jobless rate climbs to 7.9 percent; 171,000 jobs added

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By Frank Quaratiello and Ira Kantor | The Boston Herald | November 2, 2012

The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent in October as the nation added 171,000 jobs and the presidential candidates were quick to jump on the economic news.

The federal Bureau of Labor Statistics report also revised the number of jobs created in September to add another 34,000, increasing that figure to 148,000. The August jobs number was revised upward to show 192,000 jobs created.

Both President Obama and GOP nominee Mitt Romney found something to shout to the rooftops on the campaign trail today.

In Springfield, Ohio, the president touted the report: “This morning we learned that companies hired more workers in October than at any time in the last eight months. … Our businesses have created nearly five and a half million new jobs. …. The American auto industry is back on top. Home values and housing construction is on the rise. We’re less dependent on foreign oil than any time in 20 years. Because of the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over. The war in Afghanistan is ending; al-Qaeda’s been decimated. Osama bin Laden is dead.” Read More

Experts: Mitt Romney must maintain ‘energy’ to win

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By Hillary Chabot | The Boston Herald | October 5, 2012

Mitt Romney must stay on the attack and maintain his want-it-more hustle for the presidency if he wants to translate Wednesday night’s stunning debate performance into a game-changing swing-state boost and a groundswell of momentum that could sweep him into the Oval Office, said political strategists and observers.

“He’s got to remain visible and show a lot of energy,” said Tom Rath, one of Romney’s New Hampshire strategists. “Every candidate sooner or later must demonstrate that they could step in as president, and for the large part Romney passed that test.”

Romney, who hammered President Obama on sluggish job growth and the economy during their first faceoff, could have a chance to step up his attacks today as a new jobs report comes out. The unemployment rate has hovered at a dismal 8.1 percent. Read More

Bad U.S. jobs report could give another boost to Mitt Romney

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By Frank Quaratiello | The Boston Herald | October 5, 2012

Today’s jobs report could help GOP nominee Mitt Romney land another campaign blow after his strong debate performance against President Obama.

The Department of Labor releases the U.S. unemployment rate and how many jobs were created in September — the penultimate reading on the jobs picture before Election Day.

Currently, the unemployment rate stands at a dismal 8.1 percent — higher than it has ever been for a president’s re-election since the Great Depression. The economy added 96,000 jobs in August, compared to 141,000 jobs in July. Read More

Obama and Romney economic advisers spar on taxes, US aid

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Harvard economists offer rival visions

By Megan Woolhouse | The Boston Globe | September 14, 2012

In a Northeastern University classroom, the architect of President Obama’s stimulus plan and a key economic adviser to presidential candidate Mitt Romney laid out competing visions on how to repair the nation’s economy — the issue that has come to define the election campaign.

Lawrence Summers, a former Harvard University president, Treasury secretary under President Bill Clinton, and top economic adviser to Obama, told the audience government must help fuel a recovery, advocating for additional stimulus to repair schools, hire teachers, and rebuild airports.

On the other end sat N. Gregory Mankiw, who in addition to counseling Romney served as chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers under President George W. Bush. He said the key to a long-term recovery is tax reform, including a review of the necessity of popular tax breaks, such as the deduction for mortgage interest. Read More

Poor numbers likely to spur Fed action

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By Frank Quaratiello and Ira Kantor | The Boston Herald | September 8, 2012

The weak August jobs report will likely force the Federal Reserve to launch a third round of “quantitative easing,” basically creating new money to prop up the economy, even if the central bank doesn’t explicitly tip its hand at next week’s meeting.

The country’s unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent, but only 96,000 new jobs were added last month, 45,000 fewer than in July. The jobless rate declined mainly because 368,000 Americans gave up looking for work.

“If last night was the party, this morning is the hangover. For every net new job created, nearly four Americans gave up looking for work entirely,” GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney said, contrasting the jobs report to this week’s festive Democratic National Convention.

Economists said the lackluster numbers will make November’s election a tighter race, even after positive news from Europe sent the financial markets soaring Thursday. Read More

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