Romney Misstates Reason For Unemployment Rate Drop

Labor force is actually up since the start of the year.

“The unemployment rate as you noted this year has come down very, very slowly, but it’s come down none the less. 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. And if you just dropped out of the work force, if you just give up and say look I can’t go back to work I’m just going to stay home, if you just drop out all together why you’re not longer part of the employment statistics 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, our unemployment rate would be around 11 percent.”
—Abington, Va.
Brian Snyder / Reuters

But the labor force has actually grown since the start of the year

While the unemployment rate has declined

In fact, a key reason for the decline in the unemployment rate is a substantial increase of the number of part-time workers

UPDATE: An aide says Romney was referring to the labor force participation rate

The rate is the share of the overall population who have entered the job market — and it has declined since the start of the year, meaning that the labor force growth has not kept up with population growth.

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