The latest unemployment report triggered a new round of target practice in the presidential race, illustrating again that no one is willing to give any ground in the all-important debate over the economy.
Republican candidate Mitt Romney called the government jobs report issued Friday "very, very disappointing" and argued that President Obama's policies are failing to create jobs and strengthen the economy fast enough.
The new update said the economy added 115,000 jobs last month but Romney said 500,000 jobs should have been created. "This is way, way, way off from what should happen in a normal recovery," he told Fox News.
The unemployment rate declined slightly to 8.1 per cent but Romney said the drop was because so many Americans are no longer looking for work because they are so discouraged.
The Obama re-election campaign quickly fired back. Lis Smith, a campaign spokeswoman, issued a statement that Romney's analysis was "filled with dishonesty and distortions....The president brought the economy back from the brink of another Depression and we've now seen over 4.2 million private sector jobs created over the last 26 months."
Smith said Romney wants to return to Republican policies that have failed the middle class and have benefited the wealthy and Wall Street.