The nation’s unemployment rate dropped to the lowest it has been since early in 2009 in September, providing a potential upbeat talking point for President Barack Obama in the days left before the presidential election.
The Labor Department reported Friday that the unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September, a decline of 0.3 percentage point and the lowest since January 2009. It was the first time the jobless rate has fallen below 8 percent in almost four years.
A survey of households from which the jobless rate is derived showed 873,000 job gains last month, the most since June 1983. The drop in unemployment came even as Americans came back into the labor force to resume the hunt for work. The economy created 114,000 jobs, about as expected.
“Whatever the reason, the president can now say ‘I’ve brought unemployment below 8 percent,” said CNBC anchor Brian Sullivan, as the Morning Joe panel tried to analyze the importance of the news.
Bloomberg’s Joshua Green points out that aside from the September numbers, the July and August numbers were revised upward. The government said the economy generated 86,000 more jobs in July and August than first estimated.
“The fact that the revisions are upward… that’s the trend you’re looking for,” said Green. “All in all, it’s probably good news, but perhaps not enough to overshadow his belly flop in the debate the other night.”