Sessions's numbers are based on the 133.56 million Americans that had jobs in January 2009, which grew to 133.76 million Americans with jobs as of October, a net gain of about 200,000. Friday's October jobs report said the economy added 171,000 jobs in October, and because more people were looking for work, the unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent.
The October numbers are the last official snapshot of job growth in the economy before next Tuesday's election, and both Republicans and Democrats were looking to use the Friday numbers to their advantage in the last few days of the campaign.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) said the October jobs report shows an unemployment number that is still much higher than what Obama promised after signing the stimulus bill into law in 2009.
"The consequences of failed 'stimulus'-style spending, excessive regulations, and the threat of tax hikes are all around us: record debt, higher gas prices, stagnant wages, and an economy that's far weaker than it should be," Boehner said.
Democrats praised the Friday report for marking the 32nd consecutive month of private-sector job growth, saying that streak is a sign that the stimulus bill did help and that the economy is slowly improving. House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and other Democrats said Republican opposition to additional jobs bills has prevented greater job growth.
"House Democrats' Make It In America jobs plan, which focuses on revitalizing our manufacturing sector and helping businesses expand and add jobs, is exactly the kind of plan America needs," Hoyer said. "However, Republicans in Congress continue to obstruct, delay, and ignore the challenge of job creation for the sake of short-term political gain."
Rep. Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.), a senior Democrat on the House Ways and Means Committee, said the numbers show the president's jobs plan is working.
"Now is not the time to turn back," Rangel said. "It is important that we work together to implement policies that continue to strengthen the middle class and move our country forward."