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The Romney standard: 4 percent unemployment, 500k jobs per month

With the April unemployment report released this morning, Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney told voters in Pennsylvania that the slight drop in the unemployment rate is not cause for celebration.


Mitt Romney set some high standards for himself in reaction to Friday's lackluster jobs report from April.

The economy added 115,000 jobs in April, a number that fell below expectations and prompted worries of a slowdown in hiring. While the unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent, that was driven in part by people leaving the workforce.

Those numbers carry political significance, with only six months left until the election. In separate reactions to the April figures, Romney set standards that he thought represented what's acceptable.

The Romney standard, in short, would see the economy add 500,000 jobs per month. The former Massachusetts governor said that an unemployment rate above 4 percent is unacceptable.

"We should be seeing numbers in the 500,000 jobs created-per-month. This is way, way, way off from what should happen in a normal recovery," Romney said this morning on Fox News.

At an afternoon event in Pittsburgh, Romney said of the news that the unemployment rate had fallen to 8.1 percent: "Normally, that would be cause for celebration, but anything near 8 percent or over 4 percent is not cause for celebration."

The lowest the unemployment rate hit over the last decade was 4.4 percent, last achieved in May of 2007.

The high point of jobs added in the last decade came in May 2010, when the economy added 516,000 nonfarm payroll positions.