• Both political sides discuss job and employment numbers

    By: Scott Wickersham


    HUNTERSVILLE, N.C. - President Barack Obama supporters cheered Dr. Jill Biden on Friday in Huntersville.

    A few minutes into her speech, she mentioned the new job numbers.

    "5.4 million jobs have been created,” Biden said. “It’s going up as I’m sure many of you heard today.”

    Supporters believe the president is responsible.

    Romney supporters have a different view.

    “I think the economy is awful,” said Mary Lou Richardson, a Romney supporter. “I hear that at the polls and when I knock on doors.”

    “It’s not what you’re looking for in a recovery,” said economist John Connaughton.

    He added that people are focusing on the wrong number – the 7.9 percent unemployment rate.

    He said it’s actually much higher because many people have left the workforce and given up looking for jobs.

    “Another 6 million people unemployed and that would put the unemployment rate at 11 percent,” Connaughton said. “That’s been hidden in all of this.”

    No matter what number you look at, Republicans argue presidential candidate Mitt Romney can do better.

    “We’re talking about 170,000 jobs,” said Kirsten Kurkowski for Romney. “We should be creating at least twice that to get our country moving in the right direction.”

    All agree the recovery has been a slow one and that could weigh heavy on the minds of voters on Election Day.

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    Both political sides discuss job and employment numbers