WEAK JOBS REPORT: U.S. employers added 96,000 jobs in August, a tepid figure that points to the economy's persistent weakness. The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent, but only because many people gave up looking for work.
DETAILS BAD: The report was weak throughout. Hourly pay fell in August, manufacturers cut the most jobs in two years and the number of people in the work force dropped to its lowest level in 31 years.
CAMPAIGN IMPACT: The sluggish job growth could boost GOP nominee Mitt Romney's prospects and slow the momentum President Barack Obama hoped to gain from his speech Thursday night.