Candidates for the 2nd Congressional District seat today expressed starkly different reactions to the latest employment report from Washington, D.C.

Democratic incumbent Mike Michaud said the report is encouraging, while Republican challenger Kevin Raye called it bad news.

According to the report, which was released Friday, U.S. employers added 96,000 jobs in August. The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July.

Michaud addressed the report in a brief written statement Friday.

“Today’s news that our nation’s economy added 96,000 jobs last month is encouraging,” Michaud said in the statement. “While any job growth in this economy is good, there is still a long way to go.”

Raye, who also issued a written statement, described the outlook as glum.

“Today’s employment report for August is more bad news for middle class families,” he said. “Washington is broken and the partisan policies pushed through by Barack Obama with the support of Congressman Mike Michaud have failed.”

Raye said working families and small businesses are struggling, and called attention to the $16 trillion national deficit.

“It is time for a new direction,” he wrote, though he did not provide specifics.

Michaud said he is working on legislation to revise trade policies with China and to provide access to capital for small businesses.

“Work like this needs to be done by all of us working together to put American workers back on the job,” he wrote.

Friday’s report was discouraging throughout, according to the Associated Press. Hourly pay fell, manufacturers cut the most jobs in two years and the number of people in the work force dropped to its lowest level in 31 years.

Two more employment reports, covering September and October, will be released before the Nov. 6 election.

Ben McCanna — 861-9239
[email protected]