House Speaker John Boehner joined Mitt Romney and other Republicans in expressing concern about the bleak May unemployment report released Friday, saying "Americans are hurting."
The report shows the fewest number of new jobs created in a year and unemployment rising to 8.2 percent, which also elicited swift criticism of President Obama by Republican leaders who hammered home their election-year message that the president has had three years to create more jobs and revive the U.S. economy -- and he's "failed."
"Another month of disappointing job gains, said Boehner, R-Ohio. "It's pretty clear that the American people are hurting, small continue to avert hiring any additional people, and it's clear that the policies that we've seen are not working."
Romney, the GOP presidential candidate, said the report was "devastating news for American workers and American families,”
“It is now clear to everyone that President Obama’s policies have failed to achieve their goals and that the Obama economy is crushing America’s middle class,” he said.
Earlier Friday, House Speaker John Boehner said the president’s “failed policies have made high unemployment and a weak economy the sad new normal for families and small businesses.”
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He was joined by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor who declared, "The American people really deserved better... and under new leadership I believe we can do better.”
Democrats were quick to defend the president.
“Problems in the job market were long in the making and will not be solved overnight,” said Alan Kruger, chairman of the president’s Council of Economic Advisers. “The economy lost jobs for 25 straight months beginning in February 2008, and over 8 million jobs were lost as a result of the Great Recession. We are still fighting back from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression."
Maryland Rep. Chris Van Hollen, ranking Democrat on the House Budget Committee said the president and the rest of the party have made progress but more is needed.
“We have made progress, said Van Hollen, D-Md. “Today's jobs numbers show we need to make further progress. But let's learn the right lessons from what happened in the past. Because if we diagnose wrongly, then we won't have the right prescription.”
The president is expected to speak this afternoon about the report.
U.S. employers created 69,000 jobs in May, the fewest in a year, and the unemployment rate ticked up. The dismal jobs figures are also fan fears that the economy is sputtering, with stock prices falling on Wall Street.
The Labor Department also says the economy created far fewer jobs in the previous two months than first thought. It revised those figures down to show 49,000 fewer jobs created.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.