(ABINGDON, Va.) — Mitt Romney challenged the significance of the drop in the unemployment rate Friday, arguing that the “real reality” is that the figure declined because “more and more people have just stopped looking for work.”
“There was a report that just came out this morning on job creation this last month,” said Romney at a rally in the battleground state of Virginia. “There were fewer new jobs created this month than last month. And the unemployment rate as you noted this year has come down very, very slowly, but it’s come down nonetheless.”
“The reason it’s come down this year is primarily due to the fact that more and more people have just stopped looking for work,” Romney said. “And if you just dropped out of the work force, if you just give up and say look I can’t go back to work I’m just going to stay home, if you just drop out all together why you’re not longer part of the employment statistics.”
“So it looks like unemployment is getting better, but the truth is, if the same share of people were participating in the workforce today as on the day the president got elected, our unemployment rate would be around 11 percent,” said Romney. “That’s the real reality of what’s happening out there.”
This morning’s jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that the nation’s unemployment rate dropped from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent, the first time it’s been below 8 percent in four years. September saw the addition of 114,000 jobs, according to the report, a decrease from the 142,000 that were added in August, and statistic that Romney emphasized on the trail Friday.
“I’ll tell you this, when I’m president of the United States,” Romney said confidently, pausing for applause, “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’re creating more jobs. I will create jobs and get America working again.”
Embracing the much-needed good news on the economy, President Obama told supporters Friday morning that the latest jobs report is a reminder “we are moving forward again” and have “come too far to turn back now.”
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