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September 25, 2017

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Obama, Romney duel over US jobs situation

WASHINGTON -- With elections just a month away, U.S. President Barack Obama's re-election campaign celebrated a much-needed injection of energy Friday from a drop in the jobless rate.

Republican rival Mitt Romney immediately pounced on the report from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, which said the jobless rate had fallen to 7.8 percent — the lowest rate since January 2009, the month Obama took office.

"This is not what a real recovery looks like," Romney said, charging that the figure hid the millions of people who have given up looking for work.

While candidates can argue endlessly over the interpretation of statistics, one thing remains true: The 12.1 million people still registered as out of work are a heavy weight on voters' minds as they go to the polls Nov. 6.

Romney consistently speaks of 23 million people out of work, as he includes people working at part-time or underpaid jobs when they expect more.

Romney also dismisses Obama's claim to having seen 5.2 million new jobs added over the past 31 months, pointing to the 600,000 jobs lost in manufacturing and charging that the 51-year-old Democrat's 2009 jobs stimulus program had failed.

Romney vows to create 12 million jobs over the next four years if elected. That figure is, coincidentally, the same as that projected by major economic forecasters Macroeconomic Advisers and Moody's Analytics, regardless of who wins the election, The New York Times noted.

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