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Discouraging Jobs Report Puts President Obama On Defensive, Romney On Offensive

Unemployment Rate At 8.2 Percent, With Just 80,000 Jobs Created In June
President Barack Obama

President Barack Obama (photo credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A weak jobs report sent tremors through the stock market and caused reverberations on the presidential campaign trail on Friday.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down 124 points. The NASDAQ fell more than 38 and the S & P dropped a little less than 13 points. None of it was good news for President Barack Obama, CBS 2’s Marcia Kramer reported.

Maritza Arrastia of Sunset Park, Brooklyn, has been out of work for a year and with the weak job market she worries she may never find work again.

“It’s a complete change. It’s a huge drop in income and my unemployment will run out in the not too distant future,” Arrastia said.

With a new report showing anemic job creation – the 80,000 new jobs in June were far less than expected — Arrastia said her age, 65, works against her and has been told to hide it when applying for jobs.

“I was advised to not put any dates whatsoever on my resume because I am 65 years old, nor go back more than 15 years,” she said.

Friday’s jobs report, marking the third straight month of weak hiring, caused the stock market to plummet.

The retail and transportation industries, plus the government, all cut jobs last month. Manufacturing jobs were up and so were jobs in health care and financial services.

“We’re going to bet on the American worker,” President Barack Obama said.

The jobs report placed President Obama on the defensive as he campaigned in the battleground state of Ohio.

“Four-point-four million jobs have been added over the last 28 months, 500,000 of which are  manufacturing jobs, but we can’t be satisfied. The goal is to exceed the levels of 2007, before the recession,” President Obama said.

But with the national unemployment level still at 8.2 percent, presumptive Republican challenger Mitt Romney went on the attack, calling the new report “another kick in the gut to middle class families.”

“The president’s policies have not gotten America working again and the president’s going to have to sand up and take responsibility for it,” Romney said.

The Republicans charge that the government takeover of health care is driving up costs and making it harder for small businesses to hire.

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