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Obama sees ‘real progress’, Romney ‘stagnation’ in latest job report

Washington, Nov. 3 (ANI): Launching their final campaign in a close and contentious race, President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney argued over who will bring real change to a nation still mired in a sluggish economy.

With four days until the Tuesday election, the Bureau of Labor Statistics said that the US economy added 171,000 jobs in October and the unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent, up from 7.8 percent in September.

At three rallies in Ohio, one of the most crucial swing states, Obama made a brief reference to the report and said that “we learned companies hired more workers in October than at any time in the last eight months”.

According to CNN, he then quickly shifted his campaign stump speech, citing a revived American auto industry, rising home values and increased highway construction, all important economic issues in Ohio, as evidence of recovery during his presidency.

“We have made real progress,” Obama said, adding: “We are here today because we know we’ve got more work to do.”

For Romney, the increase in the unemployment rate was ‘a sad reminder that the economy is at a virtual standstill’.

“Unemployment today is higher than when Barack Obama took office,” Romney told during a campaign event in Wisconsin.

In a statement released by his campaign, Romney said that Obama’s policies have ‘crushed America’s middle class’ for four years, and that the president’s claims of progress ring hollow with people struggling to get by.

Romney and Republicans said that a lack of leadership has prevented a more robust recovery.

“Four years ago, candidate Obama promised to do so very much, but he has fallen so very short,” Romney said, adding: “Words are cheap. A record is real and it’s earned with real effort. Real change is not measured in words. Real change is measured in achievements.”

The Obama campaign said that Romney’s focus on Pennsylvania was a futile effort to win a state that has supported Democratic candidates in the last five presidential elections. (ANI)