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July's U.S. Jobs Report a "Hammer-Blow" to President Obama's Re-Election Bid

After three months of weak job creation, a better-than-expected reading in July's U.S. jobs report was welcome, but still isn't anything to get too excited about. Despite the encouraging job gains, the unemployment rate actually ticked up.

The Labor Department reported U.S. payrolls increased by a seasonally adjusted 163,000 jobs in July, better than the 95,000 economists had expected. But, in a separate survey of U.S. households, numbers revealed the unhealthy unemployment rate actually eked up, rising from 8.2% to 8.3%.

"Today's increase in the unemployment rate is a hammer blow to struggling middle-class families," GOP presidential hopeful Mitt Romney said in a statement.

With the November presidential election growing near, the jobs report carries massive political weight.

Not since World War II has an incumbent president attempted re-election with an employment rate over 8%. Since President Obama took office, the unemployment rate has remained elevated and above that key level.

And it's not likely to go down before November.

"We've now gone 42 consecutive months with the unemployment rate above 8 percent," Romney said in a statement. "Middle-class Americans deserve better, and I believe America can do better."

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How Political Spin Skewed the U.S. Jobs Report

The stock market – closed Friday for a holiday – had a chance today (Monday) to react to the March employment report – and fell in morning trading.

Although job gains continued in March, they were about 90,000 short of what was expected. Money Morning Chief Investment Strategist Keith Fitz-Gerald joined Fox Business’ “Varney & Co.” program Monday morning to take a closer look at the U.S. jobs report.

Fitz-Gerald detailed why investors need to look beyond the unemployment rate drop at more telling numbers – data the White House would like you to ignore.

Watch this video of Fitz-Gerald with “Varney & Co.” host Stuart Varney to find out what you need to know about the U.S. jobs report, and how it could affect the markets and economic recovery.

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