Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Campaigns Jump on Jobs Numbers

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Campaigns Jump on Jobs Numbers

Article excerpt

MITT ROMNEY - "The jobless rate is higher than it was when President Obama took office, and there are still 23 million Americans struggling for work."

PRESIDENT OBAMA - "We've created 5.4 million new jobs, and this morning we learned companies hired more workers in October than any time in the last eight months."

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WASHINGTON Businesses picked up their pace of hiring in October and the unemployment rate rose as more people started looking for work, according to new government data that offer a glimmer of optimism for the long-ailing job market on the eve of the presidential election.

Employers reported adding 171,000 jobs in October, beating both analysts expectations of 125,000 new jobs and Septembers job creation, an upwardly revised 148,000.

The unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent from 7.8 percent, but the reason behind the uptick also points to an improved job market. Some 578,000 more Americans counted themselves as part of the labor force, and

only 410,000 more people reported having a job. In one particularly welcome sign, the proportion of the population reporting that they had a job rose one-tenth of a percent to 58.8 percent.

The Labor Department counts only those with jobs or looking for jobs as among the U.S. workforce.

The campaigns jumped onthe numbers Friday, giving their spins on the final unemployment report before Tuesdays election.

At a rally in Hillard, Ohio, President Barack Obama noted the hiring increase and touted his stewardship of the economic recovery.

Weve created 5.4 million new jobs, and this morning we learned companies hired more workers in October than any time in the last eight months, Obama said. The American auto industry is back on top. Home values and

housing construction are on the rise. Were less dependent on foreign oil than at any time in the past 20 years. Weve made real progress, but were here today because we know we have more work to do.

Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney took the opposite view and focused on the higher unemployment rate, calling it a sad reminder that the economy is at a virtual standstill.

The jobless rate is higher than it was when President Obama took office, Romney said in a statement, and there are still 23 million Americans struggling for work. …

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