Washington (CNN) - Congressional Republicans are using the release of July's jobs report to criticize the Obama administration's economic policies.
The Labor Department reports Friday that the unemployment rate stayed steady at 9.5 percent last month, with 71,000 private sector jobs created which was less than forecasts by many economists. Overall employment fell by 131,000 jobs in July, as the government continues to unload Census workers, a move that offset the gains in private business hiring.
Related: Jobs continue to sputter
With the economy the top issue with Americans and the midterm elections less than three months away, the monthly unemployment report is arguably the most important number in politics right now.
(Updated after the jump with reaction from the White House)
"Today's disappointing jobs report falls short of where we need to be," said House Minority Whip Eric Cantor, in a statement put out less than seven minutes after the Labor Department released the jobs report. "The policies originating from this White House are creating an environment of uncertainty and fear for business people and employees, preventing investment and hiring."
In response to the report, the top Republican in the House echoed a familiar GOP refrain when it comes to the economy. "How many more times do families and small businesses have to ask 'where are the jobs' before President Obama changes course?" House Minority Leader John Boehner asked in a statement released a few minutes later.
And Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele chimed in as well, saying that "for the millions of Americans who are unable to find work, this White House's empty cheerleading rings hollow."
Responding to Friday's report, The White House said that even though much progress has been made, July's employment numbers illustrate that more work is ahead.
"There will likely be more bumps in the road ahead as the economy recovers," Christina Romer, the outgoing chairwoman of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, said in a statement posted on the White House's website. "The monthly employment and unemployment numbers are volatile and subject to substantial revision. Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report, positive or negative. It is essential that we continue our efforts to move in the right direction and replace job losses with robust job gains."
Obama is scheduled to make comments on the economy at a midday speech in Washington Friday.
–CNNMoney.com Senior Writer Chris Isidore contributed to this report.
Updated: 10:16 a.m. with statement from the White House
Like I said before, The president and the liberal democrats don't have a clue on how to fix this economy. I cant wait for November!
Slam all you want to, Republicans. At least the President is trying to get our economy back on track and create jobs. What did that neo-fascist dictator Bush do for 8 years? Right, he ran this country into the ground and destroyed our economy.
Just keep yelling, GOP. All you do is showcase your idiocy and immaturity.
The only reason the unemployment number didn't rise was because people have just given up looking for work and thus aren't counted.This is a terrible report and can't be spun by the W.H.any other way.
Hmmm...once again the Rs in Congress will slam the White House, but they offer no credible jobs program of their own.
Whay doesn't this administration try something new to create jobs, like looking at the Clinton and Reagan model. Cut taxes, reduce unnecessary legistation, eliminate ear-marks. His administration has added too much uncertainty in the market place and the market is not hiring. It is because of health care, bailouts, financial changes.
nobama and liberal demorats will not change course until the voters change their course for them in the upcoming elections in 2010 and 2012.
O.K. Then, Since HypocriCNN! Is So Quick To Megaphone Republican Talking Points. Did You In Kind Ask The Republicans Or The RNC (Or Michael Steele For That Matter) What Are Their Job Creating Policies? Did You Get Any Real Answers Besides Extending The Bush Tax Cuts?
This jobs report belongs more to the republicans than it does Obama and the Democrats. Lest we forget that our entire economy still teeters on the brink of disaster as a result of twelve years of failed republican congressional policies. It's going to take the rest of us awhile to fix your screwups, so don't get your shorts and panties in a wad.
Mr. Canton called this number as falling short. What did Mr. Canton call the numbers of President Bush last month in office? Oh, he didn't mention those numbers! What a loser. And Boehner and Steele got their two cents in. A trio of losers!
This isn't a failure of the Democrats only! What is the GOP done in the last decade to create jobs? I'm sick of the finger pointing, the blame game and the lack of leadership of both of the major parties!
I do not care about what party you belong to! "We the People” got screwed again this time we need to make all of them pay with their jobs.
Guess what Congress "You Are Fired!"
This fall vote "No to incumbents"
Fire All incumbents!
Congress allowed the American people to lose their jobs, their life's savings and their retirement. And then made the American people pay to bailout the ones who were responsible for the crime.
All while supporting the special interests, lobbyists, Big business and the wealthy.
You know what Congress, welcome to the ranks of the unemployed.
Yeah!! The Democrats are TOTALLY at fault for not magically bringing back all the jobs our Conservative, free-for-all, benefit-the-rich policies lost during the previous 8 years! Arghh you Democrats!! Down with Obama!
My party is a joke.
I wish Republicans win in November I want to see how they defend same criticism because they can’t create Jobs
this is a disaster ,, we need jobs ... get american working again,, does any one at white house have a clue ...
Any mention of their plan ? Extended tax cuts for the wealthy that were started when Bill Clinton gave us a SURPLUS but which we now need because we have record DEFICITS.
This is rich: the same Republican Party Policies that brought this nation 750,000 jobs per month losses is telling the county/President how to grow jobs. Also the same Party that is critical of govt. spending on job programs, now wants jobs to appear out of thin air and blames the govt.Obama if that does not happen.
Folks, I had enough of these clowns...if any one of you vote Republican this fall or ever again, than you belong in the unemployment line for the rest of you lives or in a straight-jacket.
Republicans slam white house for not fixing fast enough the problem they've created over 10 years and expect the people to put them back in power to create more problem to the next democrat.
The cycle continues.
Education reform is needed so bad in this country more than anything else.
It's getting old. The Republicans blaming Obama for the crash which occurred as a direct result of the failed ideology of the right wing Bush regime. If the Repubs are so concerned with small business – why did they block a bill to provide loans to small businesses so they could hire more workers. Why? Because the Repubs are doing everything they can to undermine Obama's efforts to revive the economy so they can gain more power. The party of billionaires cares much more about maintaining their power than they do about the American people. Their only solution to the problem is more tax cuts for the ultra-wealthy.
Give me a break. How many corporate CEOs are Republicans and are holding off hiring in hopes that it will help Republicans in November?
Bush and the rubberstamp neocons got us into this mess. Why do they think they have the right to be put back in charge?
Jeez, the Republicants have been so helpful and full of ideas
But the republicans don't have any solutions to the job issue either!
Lets add President Obama to the unemployment numbers and then we will see improvement on the employment numbers. Until then Good Luck if you are unemployed, because things are going to get worse.
THe republicans campaign motto is: "Vote for republicans because Democrats have been too slow in fixing the problems we created during Bush's eight years as President."
Once again, the party causing our current economic woes is blaming Obama for something that clearly started in March of 2007. Cantor, did you see that chart that shows steady, and increasing job losses until January, 2009, then the number steadily getting better since? How do you ignore that? Nothing could be more clear. Bush's presidency, losing jobs and accelerating. Obama's presidency, reversing the trend.
I guess the republicans never let facts get in the way of their agenda.
Kinda like "tricke down economics." Practiced twice in our lifetime, led to enemic economic performance under Reagan/Bush 1, and downright disaster under Bush 2. On the other hand, Clinton and his responsible economic policies led to the most prosperous time in our lives. How do you deny that, and advocate for supply side economics again?
Like wars without planning. Two failures (despite what Steele says, these are Bush's wars).
Like torture. Denounced by everyone with a brain – the military, every other civilized country. Doesn't work, unless you are a delusional neocon.
So glad we went with the smart one this time.
Companies don't need to add more jobs when their existing employees are working double-time, scared of losing their jobs. Companies make higher profits with fewer employees so there's no incentive for them to add more to their payrolls.
And GOP, could you go over again what your plan for job growth is ?
I don't think that I caught all of the datails.