New US Jobs Report Alters Presidential Campaigns

Posted September 29th, 2012 at 6:35 am (UTC-5)
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(updates from Friday, new lede, edits)

The latest U.S. jobs report shows the country now has more people employed than when President Barack Obama took office in January, 2009.

The latest Labor Department figures issued Friday counters one of Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's key talking points – that the nation has lost hundreds of thousands of jobs since the president took office.

Mr. Romney was campaigning in the political battleground state of Pennsylvania Friday as news that revised labor figures indicate that while 13 million workers are unemployed, U.S. employers have added almost 400,000 more jobs during the 12 months ending in March than previously estimated.

That means the overall number of jobs in the U.S. labor market is now 125,000 higher than when Mr. Obama came into office, and that the jobs created since then offset those lost during his term.

For Mr. Romney, the news comes after an already tough couple of weeks for his campaign. The Republican candidate's standing has fallen since a video surfaced earlier this month showing him telling wealthy supporters that 47 percent of Americans pay no taxes and consider themselves “victims” entitled to government support.

Recent polls indicate President Obama has a significant lead over his Republican challenger in Pennsylvania and many of the other so-called swing states expected to decide the November 6 election.

The assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute says the presidential debates, which start next week, may be Mr. Romney's best chance to reverse the trend in his favor.

The Republican candidate will spend time in the next few days preparing for the first of the three debates, scheduled to take place Wednesday. He also held a fundraiser in Boston, the capital of his home state of Massachusetts.

President Obama also focused on raising money Friday with his own fundraising events in Washington, and will begin debate practice sessions Sunday.