Mitt Romney and President Obama sought to make closing arguments on the central issue of the election Friday by offering different interpretations of the latest employment figures.

Obama touted “real progress” on the jobs front after the Bureau of Labor Statistics found the economy added 171,000 jobs last month, while Romney said the 7.9 percent jobless rate highlighted how Obama had “fallen so very short” of fixing the economy.

The report was released four days before Election Day, with both candidates sprinting through a host of swing states in a race the conservative pollster Rasmussen declared a national dead heat, with both candidates winning 48 percent support from likely voters.