FAIRFAX, Virginia - President Barack Obama on Friday hailed the drop in the US jobless rate in September to the lowest level since he took office as a "a reminder this country has come too far to turn back now."

A decline in the US unemployment rate to its lowest level since January 2009, announced a month before the election, is expected to give his campaign a boost after he performed poorly in a debate with Republican opponent Mitt Romney.

"More Americans entered the workforce, more people are getting jobs," Obama told a campaign rally at George Mason University in Virginia. "Now, every month reminds us that we've still got too many friends and neighbors who are looking for work."

"Today's news is certainly not an excuse to try to talk down the economy to score a few political points," he said.

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