Romney, Obama Campaigns Spin New Jobless Report

Posted October 5th, 2012 at 1:25 pm (UTC-5)
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U.S. President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney have traded barbs over a new report on the U.S. jobless rate, a key issue with voters.

The report, which was released on Friday, says the unemployment rate fell to a lower-than-expected 7.8 percent in September, marking the first dip below the 8 percent level in 44 months.

In a statement shortly after the figures were released, Mr. Romney said “This is not what a real recovery looks like.”

Later Friday, at a campaign rally in Virginia, he said the unemployment rate would be closer to 11 percent if it included those who had dropped out of the labor force.

“When I'm president of the United States , that unemployment rate is going to come down not because people are giving up and dropping out of the workforce, but because we are creating more jobs.”

Mr. Obama, who also stumped in Virginia on Friday, said the unemployment drop shows the country is “moving forward.”

“Today's news certainly is not an excuse to try to talk down the economy to score a few political points. It's a reminder that this country has come too far to turn back now. ”

Earlier Friday, White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Alan Krueger said the new figures show the U.S. economy is “continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression.”

Later Friday, Mr. Obama will campaign in Ohio while Mr. Romney plans to attend a rally in Florida.