October 5, 2012 marked the first Friday of the month meaning the release of another jobs report from the U.S. Department of Labor. The report showed the economy added 114,000 jobs in the month of September and the unemployment rate falling to 7.8%.
Mitt Romney and his campaign have been critical of the unemployment rate sighting it being above 8% for 42 straight months. The new unemployment number comes at a time when President Obama is trying to regain his momentum after a poor debate performance earlier in the week. However, it must be noted that no incumbent president has won re-election with the unemployment rate above 7.2% since World War II. Ronald Reagan won re-election in 1984 with an unemployment rate of 7.2%.
Speaking to a crowd at George Mason University, President Obama referenced the encouraging numbers saying, “More Americans entered the workforce, more people are getting jobs. Today’s news is certainly not an excuse to try to talk down the economy to score a few political points.”
Even with the positive report Mitt Romney didn’t back down from criticizing the president’s handling of the economy. He has argued that the unemployment rate has gone down due to people leaving the workforce. While that has been part of the reason over the past few months the report for September showed participation in the labor force increased.