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U.S. Unemployment Drops to 8.1 Percent


Just two months before the 2012 presidential election takes place, unemployment has fallen to 8.1 percent, according to the U.S. Labor Department. Additionally, the economy added 96,000 jobs in August. Despite a slight decrease in the rate, there are some economic indicators that continue to be troubling. ABC News has more:

The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent as the economy slogged along for the 43nd month in a row with joblessness above 8 percent.

Economists expected an addition of 125,000 total nonfarm jobs in August, which would leave the unemployment rate unchanged at 8.3 percent.

As the AP notes, the relatively low jobs figure -- 96,000 -- could slow any political momentum that President Barack Obama experiences in the wake of the Democratic National Convention.

The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July, but only because more people gave up looking for work. The government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively searching.

The Labor Department also says 41,000 fewer jobs were created in July and June than first estimated. The economy has added just 139,000 jobs a month since the beginning of the year, below 2011's average of 153,000.

The bleak report comes just two months before Election Day, and the economy is the top issue on most voters' minds.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

This is a breaking news story. Stay tuned for updates.

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