by Martha Sparks
On the heels of a two-week stretch in which the major political parties sought to convince the American public that they were best suited to mend a tattered economy, the most recent job numbers released underscore the depths of the nation’s problems. Though unemployment declined, it was due more to a contraction of the workforce than new hiring, which was lower than the month before.
In North Carolina — a battleground state in which the White House may be won or lost — the pressing need for more jobs stands as the greatest issue facing residents, who continue to suffer with an unemployment rate far higher than the national average. It is clear that the status quo is unacceptable, and that those elected to serve must look beyond party toward the pressing needs of those still struggling in the aftermath of recession.
One day after President Barack Obama offered the soaring rhetoric of his nomination acceptance speech, his campaign came back to earth with the release of the unemployment figures for August. Though unemployment fell from 8.3 percent in July to 8.1 percent, the economy added only 96,000 new jobs, less than the 141,000 positions created in July. …
For Democrats, those numbers are a serious blow against the argument for re-electing Obama. The news is little better for Republicans, however, since voters know that a GOP-led House has frustrated the president’s efforts to spur job growth — and that their numbers from four years ago are worse. …
Yet, it is critical to remember, especially in light of the conventions and the campaign to come, that we are all in this together. As the unemployed suffer, so we all do. And getting those without jobs back to work will taking heavy lifting and sacrifice, not from one party, but from all.
— Distributed by The Associated Press
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