Mitt Romney said the unemployment rate dropped below 8 percent for the first time in President Obama's term "primarily due to the fact that more and more people have stopped looking for work.”
The economy added 114,000 jobs in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The report also revised up employment figures for July and August, leading the unemployment rate to drop from 8.1 to 7.8 percent.
But the Republican nominee noted at his rally in southern Virginia that "there were fewer jobs created this month than last month."
Romney went on to pledge that if he was elected president, the unemployment rate would decline "not because people are giving up and dropping out of the workforce, but because we're going to create more jobs."
At a rally earlier in the day in suburban Washington, Obama said the encouraging jobs figure was "a reminder that this country has come too far to turn back now."
Meanwhile, vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan also weighed in on the unemployment numbers in a statement issued while Romney was speaking Friday, calling the report "a sad indictment of the diminished expectations under President Obama."
"Far too many Americans are still waiting for their chance in the Obama economy," Ryan said. "For those able to find work this month, any job growth is welcome, but this number is once again well below what is needed for America to meet its economic potential. Two-thirds of those who found work took part-time jobs when they are actually seeking full-time ones. We should not have to settle for this new normal. This is not what a real recovery looks like."