Nine thousand mining industry jobs were lost in October, a statistic that could buttress Mitt Romney’s closing argument in Ohio and his push for a shock victory in Pennsylvania.

“Mining lost 9,000 jobs in October, with most of the decline occurring in support activities for mining,” the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced in today’s jobs report. “Since May of this year, employment in mining has decreased by 17,000.”

The jobs loss dovetails with part of Romney’s message in the coal-dependent states of Ohio and Pennsylvania. “You know he’s going to continue his war on coal, you knows he’s going to keep pushing back on oil and natural gas,” Romney said of Obama’s second term during a rally in Ohio today.

Romney is visiting Pennsylvania tomorrow, after his campaign went on the air with an ad hitting Obama’s record on coal in that state.

The ad reminds voters that Obama said in 2008 that “If somebody wants to build a coal plant, they can – it’s just that it will bankrupt them,” and then notes that “22 Pennsylvania Coal Units Announced They Will Close Or Convert.”