The unemployment rate increased to 8.3 percent, according the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- JULY 2012Total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 163,000 in July, and the unemployment ratewas essentially unchanged at 8.3 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reportedtoday. Employment rose in professional and business services, food services and drinkingplaces, and manufacturing.

UPDATE: Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney responds:

“Today's increase in the unemployment rate is a hammer blow to struggling middle-class families. Yesterday I launched my Plan for a Stronger Middle Class that will bring more jobs and more take home pay. My plan will turn things around and bring the economy roaring back, with twelve million new jobs created by the end of my first term. President Obama doesn’t have a plan and believes that the private sector is ‘doing fine.’ Obviously, that is not the case. We’ve now gone 42 consecutive months with the unemployment rate above eight percent. Middle class Americans deserve better, and I believe America can do better.”

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