Less than an hour after President Bush finished his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, John Kerry tried to change the focus of the campaign from national security to jobs by holding a post-midnight rally in Ohio. Cable networks CNN and MSNBC accommodated Kerry by broadcasting some of his remarks live.
“Let me just tell you, this is the moment that we’ve all been waiting for,” said Kerry. “The conventions are over. We’re into September. Labor Day weekend is coming up. And real people are looking for real jobs.” Later that morning, the U.S. Labor Department reported that 144,000 new jobs had been created in August and that national unemployment had dropped to 5.4%. First-time jobless claims also plummeted in the week that ended September 4, dropping by 44,000 from the week before. In the key swing state of Wisconsin, the state Department of Revenue announced that 42,500 new jobs have been created in the last six months. The report projected that the average worker’s income would grow this year by almost 6%.