Obama touts jobs report: ‘Real progress’

At a rally of 2,800 supporters in Hilliard, Ohio, President Obama pointed to Friday's jobs report as a sign of "real progress" on the economy.

"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," the president said.

Obama called the October job numbers 'real progress', at a campaign rally in Ohio, but the president says there is more work to be done.

"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 at any time in the past 20 years. We've made real progress, but we're here today because we know we have more work to do. As long as a single American wants a job can’t find one, as long as families are working hard but falling behind, as long as there is a child languishing in poverty… our fight goes on. We have more work to do."

In his response to the jobs report, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney focused on the fact that the unemployment rate went up to 7.8 to 7.9 percent, calling it a "sad reminder that the economy is at a virtual standstill." 

The president went on to attack Romney over his claim that U.S. car companies are moving jobs to China, saying that the Republican nominee is scaring Americans “just to scare up some votes.”

Employers reported adding 171,000 jobs in October, beating both analysts’ expectations (125,000 jobs added) and September’s job creation (a revised 148,000). The unemployment rate went up as about 578,000 counted themselves as part of the labor force while only 410,000 more people reported having a job. But at this rate of job creation it will take years to bring unemployment down to more normal levels.

David Nakamura contributed to this report.

Rachel Weiner covers local politics for The Washington Post.
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Rachel Weiner · November 2, 2012