HILLIARD, Ohio - President Obama touted this morning's October jobs report as "real progress," but stressed he's got "more work to do" as he made an empassioned plea for the support of voters in this pivotal battleground state.
"This morning we learned that companies hired more workers in October than at any time in the last eight months," the president said to cheers from a small but enthusiastic crowd of 2,800 Ohioans at a barn on the Franklin County Fairgrounds.
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The Bureau of Labor Statistics survey reported that the economy created 171,000 jobs in October, with upward revisions from August and September adding an additional 84,000 jobs. The unemployment rate, however, ticked up to 7.9 percent as more Americans started looking for work, meaning that the rate remains higher than it was when the president took office in 2009. The rate of job creation is lower than it was at the start of the year.
Four days from Election Day, the president chose to accentuate the positive, saying, "Our businesses have created nearly five and a half million new jobs….The American auto industry is back on top. Home values and housing construction is on the rise. We're less dependent on foreign oil than any time in 20 years. Because of the service and sacrifice of our brave men and women in uniform, the war in Iraq is over. The war in Afghanistan is ending; al-Qaida's been decimated. Osama bin Laden is dead."
"We have made real progress," Obama said. "But we are here today because we know we've got more work to do. As long as there's a single American who wants a job and can't find one, as long as there are families working harder but falling behind, as long as there's a child anywhere in this country who is languishing in poverty and barred from opportunity, our fight goes on. We've got more work to do."
The president and GOP nominee Mitt Romney are both campaigning in Ohio today and most polls show Obama with a slim lead.
"Today's increase in the unemployment rate is a sad reminder that the economy is at a virtual standstill. The jobless rate is higher than it was when President Obama took office, and there are still 23 million Americans struggling for work," GOP nominee Mitt Romney said in a written statement. "On Tuesday, America will make a choice between stagnation and prosperity. For four years, President Obama's policies have crushed America's middle class. For four years, President Obama has told us that things are getting better and that we're making progress. For too many American families, those words ring hollow. We can do better."
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