The U.S. government issued two downbeat economic reports Thursday, numbers that are sure to fuel the presidential campaign rhetoric as they signal jobs and the economy will remain top voter concerns going into the election. The Commerce Department reported the economy grew at an annual rate of 1.9 percent in the first quarter of 2012, slower than first estimated. The Labor Department reported the number of Americans seeking jobless benefits rose last week to a five-week high, evidence that the job market remains sluggish. The figures come in advance of the labor report that routinely turns into a political football -- the monthly jobs report, set for release on Friday. Economists expect 158,000 jobs were created in May, slightly better than the past two months but far below the pace this past winter. They also expect no change in the unemployment rate. The numbers continue to hang over the candidates and require each to continue to make a case for how he can improve the economy. Read more: Feds issue two dreary economic reports, in sign economy will top voter concerns | Fox News things ain't looking good for democrats.. that's why they want to keep talking about gay marriage.