It's hard to argue the facts, but you can find spin everywhere you turn. It's a presidential election year, after all.

The fact is, the American economy managed to churn out 96,000 jobs last month, according to the latest labor Department report. It was enough to tamp down the unemployment rate from July's 8.3 percent to 8.1 percent.

While the actual percentage of unemployed appears to have dipped, two other things have to be considered: One, the number of jobs created actually fell well short of the government's expectations, by more than 40,000. Keep in mind that in 2011, the economy averaged 153,000 jobs a month, and has been generating an average of 139,000 a month so far this year.

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