The U.S. unemployment rate rose to 8.3 percent in July as the economy added 163,000jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday.
The real unemployment, which includes frustrated job seekers and underemployed part-time workers, rose to 15 percent, up half a percentage point from April.
The labor force participation rate, at 63.7 percent, remained near its lowest level in 30 years.
The jobs number beat the consensus estimate of 100,000, and was significantly better than last month’s figure, which the BLS revised down to 64,000 jobs added from the originally reported 80,000.
The report marks the 42nd straight month of unemployment above 8 percent since President Obama took office.
Senior White House advisers in 2009 predicted that the president’s signature $787 stimulus package would prevent unemployment from rising above 8 percent and would bring the rate below 6 percent by this point in Obama’s presidency.
Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney described the latest jobs report as “a hammer blow to struggling middle-class families.”
“President Obama doesn’t have a plan and believes that the private sector is ‘doing fine,’” he said in a statement. “Obviously, that is not the case. Middle class Americans deserve better, and I believe America can do better.”