A bleak monthly US jobs report has put Barack Obama on the defensive, as he hits the campaign trail ahead of November’s presidential election.
The economy added 96,000 jobs in August, falling well below expectations.
The news pours cold water on Obama’s hopes of a post-convention bounce.
“We know it’s not good enough. We need to create more jobs faster,” Obama said.
“We need to fill the hole left by this recession faster. We need to come out of this crisis stronger then when we went in.”
Obama appealed to Americans for more time to finish his economic agenda, when he accepted his party’s presidential nomination on Thursday.
Presidential challenger, Republican Mitt Romney, pounced on the jobs data to slam his opponent.
“There’s almost nothing the president has done in the past three-and-a-half, four years that gives the American people confidence that he knows what he’s doing when it comes to jobs and the economy,” Romney said.
“And there’s certainly nothing that he said last night (Thursday) that gives the American people confidence he knows what he would do to create jobs or build a stronger economy,” he continued.
The jobs report could give Romney a boost. He has made his business experience the centrepiece of his campaign.
A poll, carried out before the figures were published, showed Obama taking a narrow election lead of 46 percent to Romney’s 44 percent, among likely voters.