From the NY Times:
The unemployment rate jumped to 6.1 percent in August, its highest level in five years, pushing the troubles of American workers to the center of the political debate as the presidential campaign enters its final weeks.
For the eighth consecutive month, the nationâ€™s employers shed jobs, 84,000 last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday. In all, 605,000 jobs have been lost since January. The steady rise in unemployment, from 5.7 percent in July and 5 percent in April, is one that many economists associate with recession.
Both presidential candidates â€” Senators Barack Obama and John McCain â€” said through spokesmen that they would favor an economic stimulus package from Congress this fall.
Mr. Obama jumped on the latest report, declaring that Democrats would do more to help struggling Americans. â€œYou would think that George Bush and his potential Republican successor, John McCain, would be spending a lot of time worrying about the economy and all these jobs that are being lost on their watch,â€ he said at a campaign stop in Duryea, Pa. But, â€œif you watched the Republican National Convention over the last three days, you wouldnâ€™t know that we have the highest unemployment rate in five years.â€