Unemployment rate drops to 8.1 percent in August

by: Allison Latos Updated:


CHARLOTTE, N.C. - Before President Barack Obama left Charlotte, he faced what could be a blow to his campaign in the form of new unemployment numbers.

August's unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July. However, the nation's job report revealed the unemployment rate decreased because more people stopped searching for jobs.

Republicans argue the report proves Obama's policies aren't working.

Political expert Dr. Michael Bitzer said the new numbers are fuel for Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's campaign.

"This may be a damper on any type of convention bounce the president was expecting coming out of Charlotte," Bitzer said.

The president touted progress during his DNC speech Thursday evening.

"We are making things again," he said.

Obama outlined a goal of creating one million manufacturing jobs by the end of 2016.

Friday's report shows 15,000 manufacturing jobs were slashed in August. That marked the most in two years.

Democrats like DNC keynote speaker, San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro, defended the statistics when Eyewitness News questioned him Friday.

"We should remember where we were when President Obama took office," Castro said. "We were losing 750,000-800,000 jobs a month and now, we're gaining jobs."

Castro argued the jobs report marks 30 months of straight job growth.

Bitzer believes the spin from both sides will intensify until Election Day, and jobs will be center stage during the October debates.