A dismal labor report Friday showed the economy added zero net workers in August, intensifying pressure on President Obama to unveil a major jobs initiative during his speech to Congress next week.
The Labor Department report, which showed the unemployment rate stuck at 9.1 percent, feeds into concerns that the economy could be at risk of another recession. It was the weakest jobs report since September 2010.
Republican leaders swiftly cited the report as renewed evidence that the Obama administration must change course.
"Private-sector job growth continues to be undermined by the triple threat of higher taxes, more failed 'stimulus' spending, and excessive federal regulations," House Speaker John Boehner said.
He and House Republican Leader Eric Cantor urged Obama to reach across the aisle when he unveils his jobs plan next week. "The administration's previous attempts at this didn't produce the expected results, and we must be mindful not to repeat the mistakes of the past," Cantor said.
The White House, in a blog on its website, urged the public not to read too much into any one monthly jobs report and noted that despite the slowdown the economy has added private-sector jobs "for 18 straight months." However, the White House called the jobless rate "unacceptably high" and said "faster growth is needed to replace the jobs lost in the downturn."
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