Republicans responded to a slightly better-than-expected February jobs report Friday, detracting any credit from President Barack Obama and remaining pessimistic about unemployment.
In its monthly analysis, the Labor Department said that 227,000 jobs outside agriculture were added in February. Unemployment remained at 8.3 percent, a steady rate since dropping for five months in August at 9.1 percent.
The report could be good news for the Obama campaign, as a strengthening economy boosts his chances for his re-election.
National Republican Committee Chairman Reince Priebus quickly issued out a statement that unemployment still remains unacceptably high.
Today's jobs report is yet another reminder that far too many Americans are out of work, and the situation is clearly not improving, said the statement. Millions of families continue to feel the pain of the sluggish Obama economy and the rising cost of gas, groceries, and healthcare. They are still waiting on President Obama to keep his promise of an economic recovery,
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., was optimistic but hard on President Obama. In a statement, he applauded the House's bipartisan effort to pass the JOBS Act (Jumpstart Our Business Startups) Thursday and said We know that jobs aren't created by Washington.
Job growth comes from small business owners and entrepreneurs who take risks and start new businesses. That's why we're doing everything we can to help small businesses grow and start hiring again, he wrote.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, took a similar attitude as Cantor. Today's report provides some encouragement for millions of families and small businesses who continue to struggle in this economy, but unemployment remains far too high, he said.
The Republican presidential candidates did not rlease statements immediately, but former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said on Alabama radio that unemployment would be 10.3 percent this morning if it weren't for a huge number of people exiting the work force, TIME Politics tweeted.
The stagnat unemployment rate and addition of jobs indicates that more Americans are entering the workforce. New Yorker's John Cassidy argues that the numbers could actually hurt Obama in the end, because the unemployment rate is likely to stay the same the next few months if more people continue seek and get jobs.