The economy added 80,000 jobs in June, a figure that will add to the anxiety within President Obama's campaign.
The weak figures underscore concerns about the labor market, and were slightly under the forecasts of some economists. The unemployment rate remained steady at 8.2 percent.
The negative report comes as President Obama makes a bus trip through the swing states of Ohio and Pennsylvania, focusing his speeches on the economy. Friday's report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics suggests Obama will continue to run with a weak economy behind him that could boost Republican Mitt Romney's efforts to unseat him.
Speaking in Ohio, Obama said the jobs numbers are "a step in the right direction" and argued that the economy isn't struggling because of his policies, but because of a "stalemate in Washington."
He criticized Romney's economic ideas, saying they were tried and failed in the decade before he took office, and led to the financial crisis and the problems the economy continues to face.
"We've got to grow the economy even faster and put more people back to work," he said in Poland, Ohio.
In comments from New Hampshire, Romney put the blame on the White House’s economic policies, saying Obama has failed to create jobs and that it is time for a change. "This kick in the gut has got to end," Romney said. Read more........