Washington: America's jobless rate dropped to 7.8 percent, the lowest since President Barack Obama's took office in January 2009 giving his re-election bid a boost after a lacklustre performance in the first presidential debate.
In the 24th straight month of job growth since the 2008 financial crisis, US employers added 114,000 jobs in September, the Labour Department reported Friday as in another positive sign, it revised the job growth for August upward to 142,000 from the previously reported 96,000.
Appearing energised with the release of a better-than-expected jobs report just a month before the Nov 6 presidential election, Obama touted the numbers at campaign rallies in Cleveland, Ohio and Fairfax, Virginia, to assert "Today I believe that as a nation, we are moving forward again."
"Every month reminds us that we've still got too many of our friends and neighbours who are looking for work," Obama added cautiously.
"Today's news certainly is not an excuse to try to talk down the economy to score a few political points. It is a reminder that this country has come too far to turn back now," he said decrying rival Romney's comments earlier suggesting that the new employment figure does not reflect a healthier economy.
"The reason it's come down this year is primarily due to the fact that more and more people have just stopped looking for work," Romney said in southwest Virginia as part of what looked like a post-debate victory tour.
"So it looks like unemployment is getting better, but the truth is, if the same share of people were participating in the workforce today as on the day the president got elected, why our unemployment rate would be around 11 percent," he said.
In fact, economists noted that the report indicated the workforce number actually increased from one month ago.
Joining the detractors former GE CEO Jack Welch, a Republican, took to Twitter to accuse the Bureau of Labour Statistics of manipulating data to help Obama win re-election.
"Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can't debate so change numbers," the 76-year-old tweeted just moments after the release of the latest unemployment figures.
However Keith Hall, a former head of the bureau appointed by Republican President George W. Bush, dismissed the suggestion telling CNN "it would be very, very difficult to rig these numbers even if you wanted too."
In another piece of good news for Obama, his campaign was expected to raise $150 million in September, topping the previous record of $114 million in August, CNN reported citing a Democratic source.
With the double dose of good news, Obama who is in a tight race with Romney appeared to have bounced back into the game just two days after a widely panned debate performance.