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Romney snorts at 8.2 percent unemployment

July 6, 2012 at 1:14 PM   |   Comments

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WASHINGTON, July 6 (UPI) -- Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney seized on a stagnant economy Friday, after the Labor Department said the unemployment rate was stuck at 8.2 percent.

While vacationing in Wolfeboro, N.H., Romney, the presumptive Republican nominee for president, said 8.2 percent was "unacceptably high and one that's been in place now for over 41 months."

"The highest corporate tax rates in the world do not create jobs," he said, also noting, "the highest regulatory burdens in our nation's history."

The Labor Department said the economy added 80,000 new jobs in June and the unemployment rate remained unchanged.

The net number of new jobs was slightly more than for May, which was revised upward to 77,000 from 69,000, but the June jobs figure was below economists' projections of 90,000 new jobs for the month.

"In June, the number of long-term unemployed [those jobless for 27 weeks and over] was essentially unchanged at 5.4 million. These individuals accounted for 41.9 percent of the unemployed," the Labor Department said.

Manufacturing added 11,000 jobs in June, an improvement over the 9,000 jobs added in May. Professional and business services added 47,000 jobs, with temporary help services accounting for 25,000 of those jobs.

Among major groups, the jobless rate for blacks edged up to 14.4 percent while unemployment for adult men and adult women showed little or no change at 7.8 percent and 7.4 percent, respectively. The teenage unemployment rate stood at 23.7 percent in June.

"While the economy is continuing to heal from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, much more remains to be done to repair the damage from the financial crisis and deep recession that followed," said Alan Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. "There are no quick fixes to the problems we face that were more than a decade in the making."

Romney called for "opening up new markets for American trade, particularly in Latin America" and for "cracking down on China when they cheat, making sure they don't steal our jobs unfairly."

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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