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The government's survey of employers showed hiring slowed sharply during August to 96,000, down from 141,000 in July and well below the 125,000 forecast figure.
- The unemployment rate, which is derived from a separate survey of households, fell because the workforce shrank by 368,000 during the month.
- The participation rate, a measure of the people employed compared to the size of the workforce, fell to 63.5 percent in August - the lowest since September 1981 - from 63.7 percent a month earlier.
- A big drag on hiring came from the manufacturing sector, where payrolls dropped by 15,000.
The US economy created an extra 96,000 jobs in August, fewer than expected.
It means unemployment has falled from 8.3% to 8.1%.
All eyes are on the performance of the US economy as the Presidential election campaign gears up.
Barack Obama urged wavering supporters not to give up on their dreams of change - or on him - as he accepted the Democratic Party's nomination for president.
Daybreak's special correspondent John Stapleton reports from the convention in Charlotte, North Carolina:
One section of President Obama's speech focussed on his opponent's foreign policy, mocking Mitt Romney's gaffe-filled visit to the UK.
"You might not be ready for diplomacy with Beijing if you can’t visit the Olympics without insulting our closest ally," he said.
Latest ITV News reports
There was something strangely disappointing about Obama's speech: it was rousing but he didn't answer the questions we all want answered.
President Barack Obama formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination for president at the Democratic National Convention.