A mild victory for President Barack Obama occurred earlier today after the release of the most recent employment numbers by the Labor Department. The nation’s unemployment rate dropped 7.8 percent, its lowest levels since President Obama took office with the news coming at a critical point of his re-election campaign. Although some critics have said Obama’s position in the election race weakened after this Wednesday’s debate performance was deemed less than stellar, the news hold high political value and perhaps a boost.
With Obama and his Republican opponent Mitt Romney hard on the campaign trail today in the critically important battleground state of Virginia, both camps are seizing on the moment in their own respective fashions. However, the White House urges caution all the same according to a blog post from Council of Economic Advisers chairman Alan Krueger.
“While there is more work that remains to be done, today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression,” wrote Krueger. “It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.”
While on the trail in the city of Fairfax this morning, Obama wisely addressed the news and treaded carefully by not touting it as a victory. “Today’s news certainly is not an excuse to try to talk down the economy to score a few political points,” Obama said. “It is a reminder that the country has come too far to turn back now.”
Romney’s retort was an expected jab at the slow rate of job growth and certainly politicized the news in his campaign’s favor, saying via a statement that, “this is not what a real recovery looks like” – this while artfully mentioning that over 600,000 manufacturing jobs have been lost under Obama’s presidency.
Even though the drop is significant, only 114,000 jobs were created in September – a number much lower than hoped for by the many jobless citizens struggling in this economic climate. With U.S. economic growth slowing to 1.3 for the second quarter as reported last week, the White House has to scramble for a late campaign rally if it wants to build on this slight bump in momentum for Obama.
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