[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/09/04/art.steele.gi.jpg caption="RNC Chairman Michael Steele issued a harsh critique of the latest jobs report."]WASHINGTON (CNN) - Republicans are quickly reacting to the release of August jobless report.
The Labor Department reported that the nation's unemployment level rose from 9.7 percent, up from 9.4 percent in July. That's the highest rate in 26 years. 216,000 jobs were lost in August, the smallest monthly job loss since August of last year.
The Republican National Committee released a statement just a half hour after the release of the unemployment report, taking on Vice President Joe Biden.
Thursday Biden highlighted the role of the administration's $787 billion stimulus package in sparking an economic recovery, saying "there is a growing consensus: the recovery act is working," he said.
The vice president told an audience at the Brookings Institute in Washington that "instead of talking about the beginning of a depression, we are talking about the end of a recession."
In response, RNC Chairman Michael Steele says, "Yesterday Vice President Biden gave yet another speech to try to convince the American people that President Obama's stimulus bill is creating the jobs he promised."
"Today's unemployment report proves that this Administration is ignoring reality. The unemployment rate jumped to 9.7 percent. More than 216,000 Americans lost their jobs in the month of August alone. That means more than 3 million Americans have lost their jobs since the president took office. The president's economic experiment simply isn't working, and Americans shouldn't expect his government-run health care experiment to work, either," added Steele, in a statement released by the RNC.
Vice President Biden is expected to comment on the August numbers later today.
So, who's to blame for the economy? A national poll released Thursday indicates that Americans are beginning to blame the Democrats more and the Republicans less. Forty-one percent of people questioned in a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey say the Republicans are more responsible. That's down 12 points from May. Twenty-seven percent blame the Democrats more, up six points from May.
"Many Americans still seem to recognize that the current economic woes date back to the Bush administration," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "But as time passes, growing numbers of Americans may start to ask the Democrats a common question in American politics: what have you done for me lately?"
Do Americans back President Barack Obama's economic plans? Fifty-two percent of those polled say yes, but that's down 13 points from March. Four in ten say Obama's plans are improving the economy, with about a third saying they're making things worse and one in four saying they have had no effect so far.