Obama misstates unemployment rate

President Obama misstated the official unemployment rate during his White House news conference on Friday.

During a response to a question on how Democrats are running away from him and the Democratic leadership on healthcare, Obama stated that the jobless rate was 9.5 percent, a tenth of a percentage point lower than it is.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, in a report issued last Friday, estimated that the unemployment rate through the end of August was 9.6 percent, an uptick from the previous two months, when the rate stood at 9.5 percent.

"We're in a political season where every candidate out there has their own district, their own makeup, their own plan, their own message," Obama said. "You know, in an environment where we've still got 9.5 percent unemployment, you know, people are going to make the best argument they can right now."

Republicans have made a major campaign issue of the persistently high unemployment rate, especially compared to the jobless numbers the administration had projected if its signature $787 billion stimulus bill were enacted.