The Federal Reserve has lowered its projection for economic growth this year, spurring fears that the economy could continue to weaken despite January's interest rate cuts, Wednesday, Feb. 20, 2008. (AP / CBS)
The latest unemployment figures are providing presidential candidates a chance to highlight their differences on the economy.
The Labor Department reported today that unemployment rose to 5.1 percent last month.
Barack Obama says that's a sign the nation is "sliding into recession." He says John McCain's response is to stand on the sidelines and watch the housing crisis unfold, while Obama's been pushing for action such as a crackdown on predatory lending practices.
Hillary Rodham Clinton also criticized McCain, saying today's jobs report might make the likely Republican nominee "recognize that doing nothing is not an economic strategy in times of urgent need."
McCain says the news "underlines the need to focus on innovation." He says that will help the economy grow and create a need for worker retraining.
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