(CNN) - Mitt Romney was the first Republican presidential candidate to react to November's promising jobs report, criticizing President Barack Obama's performance and saying that "the fact that so many millions of Americans are unemployed only highlights the urgent need for a fundamental change in the direction of our country."
The Labor Department on Friday announced the nation's unemployment rate fell to 8.6% last month, the lowest level since March of 2009, with employers adding 120,000 jobs, marking a pick up in hiring from October. Economists surveyed by CNNMoney had expected an additional 110,000 jobs in the month and the unemployment rate to remain unchanged.
Job growth from the two prior months was also stronger than originally reported, which was behind the drop in the overall unemployment rate. An additional 72,000 jobs were added during September and October combined.
Romney, the former Massachusetts governor who's making his second bid for the GOP nomination, put out a statement minutes after the release of the Labor Department report, saying that "today's unemployment figures bring to 34 the number of months that unemployment in the United States has been over 8 percent, the longest such spell since the Great Depression. The Obama administration may have come to accept such a high level of joblessness as the new normal. I will never accept it."
"It's very good news obviously, going into the holiday season. People are shopping again. So very good news that the unemployment rate is down, more people back to work. But look overall at the president's record on the economy. Its been miserable," added Romney, in an interview Friday morning on Fox News.
Polling indicates that the economy, by far, remains the top concern of American voters, and that jobs remain, by far, the most pressing economic concern.
The White House applauded the new numbers, but said more work remains.
"Today's employment report provides further evidence that the economy is continuing to heal from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression, but the pace of improvement is still not fast enough given the large job losses from the recession that began in December 2007," said Alan Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, in a statement.
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Hmmm – this from the man that put Massachusetts people out of work left and right when he was Gov?? Why does he lie and demean others so much? He's afraid.
Here we go. The "dismantle and fire all the workers" businessman is trying to tell somebody about how to handle a jobless situation! If this guy wasn't so pathetic we could treat him like Perry and laugh it all off!
Romney you a flip flopper and the republican does not have any plan. President Obama is trying his best to help the economy and middle class and the republican congress is stoping him.
2012 general election hurry up so we can vote all these do nothing republican out of the office.
Romney you would never beat Obama in the election.
4 more years Obama.
More smoke and mirrors from the government and Obummie. There is no way the unemployment rate dropped from 9% to 8.6% by adding 120,000 jobs. Anyone with the brain of a pea knows that. Even if you take the 315,000 people out of the workforce that aren't counted in the unemployment calculation, the numbers still don't come anywhere close to reducing the unemployment rate by .4%. I guess Obummie will reduce the unemployment rate down to 7% next month by a million more people giving up looking for a job. Heck, he will probably have a 2% rate this time next year as everyone will quit looking for work and get on Obummie's welfare train.
Really, high unemployment started the day Obama took office! That's a good one Mitty. It's all Obama's fault, eh????
I think Romney needs to realize you don't get points for being the first to respond but rather the first to respond intelligently. Romney wants us to believe Obama was responsible for Unemployment being above 8% 34 months ago!!!! I guess Obama was responsible for all that job loss in Bush's recession!!!!!
The 8.6% number is very welcome. How they came to this number is quite fuzzy.
The Obama administration may have come to accept such a high level of joblessness as the new normal.
I expect Joe Biden to do another victory lap around DC ( The Stimulus is Working!!!) with this 0.4% downtick in the rate, just like he did in March.
What a surprise. Good jobs numbers this morning and Republicans immediately bash the President. It always amazes me that no matter how good the economic news may be, Republicans will always find the rain in the rainbow. Must politics rule every single aspect of our lives? Good grief people...grow up already!
Absolutely shameless... the Republicans have done nothing to create jobs. Why should anyone believe things will be different if (heaven forbid) they take back power?
Republicans caused the crash with 8 million jobs lost BEFORE President Obama took office. Their protection of only the rich caused our bond value to fall and stifled the recovery. With 94 filibusters in the Senate nothing even came to the floor for debate. Nothing came out of the Republican/Tea Party led House. How coul;d any thinking person actually expect the President to create jobs with the Republicans working hard to prevent success?
Sounds like he's angry that America is digging out of the worst economic crisis since the great depression. Tell you party stop destroying this country with your greed.
Lies, lies, lies of GOP and Republicans...just all all the congress out of offices....Obama2012.
Mitt Romney et al should be playing up the jobs report of the decreasing trend in unemployment because that is good for the people of this country. The jobs trend will continue and that is good for the President. Sorry Mitt.
What now? If the numbers continue to go down the Republican candidates will have no platform. They haven’t proposed anything to directly impact middleclass and poor Americans lives. All they have done is bashed Obama for unemployment and advocated more top down policies. The big question is what are they going to do now!!
Just can't bring himself to say anything positive, can he? Its sad when the people who bang the drum of patriotism the loudest are so quick to denigrate any positive news.
Oh, Mitt, Mitt, Mitt......wrong again. You need to focus on the newt and his PAST and get him out of the way.
Mitt, President Obama is trying to create more jobs, But the Repubs/TP in congress will NOT PASS THE JOBS BILL that the President has offered to CREATE MORE JOBS.
This guy will say anything to get elected. He will switch position 10 times if he has to.
I thought that the GOP was only supposed to attack Obama on jobs when the unemployment rate was UP and the hiring was DOWN. Perhaps Romney didn't get those talking points before he made this tirade. Word to Mitt : these numbers however slight show IMPROVEMENT so deal with it.
The Obama administration may have come to accept such a high level of joblessness as the new normal. I will never accept it." said the mitt and I will add: you will NEVER be president.