US unemployment rate likely rose on weak hiring

WASHINGTON - Experts doing some forecasting ahead of today's September employment figures from the government are expecting improved job creation but a slight worsening of the unemployment rate.

A survey of economists by FactSet finds that with a month to go until the presidential election, they're predicting 111,000 jobs added and an 8.2 percent unemployment rate compared to 8.1 percent in August.

An increase in the unemployment rate could add momentum to Mitt Romney's campaign to unseat President Barack Obama. Jobs and the economy are central issues and no incumbent since Franklin Roosevelt has faced re-election with unemployment so high. August's 8.1 rate was up from 7.8 percent when Obama took office in January 2009.

Still, the job market has been improving, sluggishly but steadily. Jobs have been added for 23 straight months. There are now 125,000 more than when Obama took office.

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