The jobs picture improved in September, but Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney said the fall in the nation's jobless rate still is not enough to justify giving President Obama another term in office.
"This is not what a real recovery looks like," Mr. Romney said in a statement, pointing to what he said was a downward trend of job-creation. "We created fewer jobs in September than in August, and fewer jobs in August than in July, and we've lost over 600,000 manufacturing jobs since President Obama took office."
The Bureau of Labor Statistics' key jobs survey said the economy added 114,000 new jobs in September, and BLS said the unemployment rate dipped to 7.8 percent -- a drop of three-tenths of a percent.
That means the rate is now back down to what it was in January 2009, when Mr. Obama took office, inheriting a recession from President George W. Bush.
BLS also revised July and August job numbers upward by a combined 86,000, suggesting a slightly better jobs picture over the summer than was reported at the time.
The jobs news comes just two days after Mr. Romney seemed to be gaining momentum from a strong debate performance.
The Republican presidential nominee loses a major talking point from the campaign trail, where he regularly talked about the streak of consecutive months the unemployment rate had remained above 8 percent.
Mr. Romney on Friday said the jobs picture is still bleak -- particularly because of the millions who have dropped out of the market altogether.
"If not for all the people who have simply dropped out of the labor force, the real unemployment rate would be closer to 11 percent," Mr. Romney said in his statement. "The results of President Obama's failed policies are staggering -- 23 million Americans struggling for work, nearly one in six living in poverty, and 47 million people dependent on food stamps to feed themselves and their families. The choice in this election is clear. Under President Obama, we'll get another four years like the last four years. If I'm elected, we will have a real recovery with pro-growth policies that will create 12 million new jobs and rising incomes for everyone."
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