Jobless rate drops to 7.8 percent; economy adds 114,000 jobs

October 6, 2012

By Vicki Needham – The Hill

The unemployment rate dipped below 8 percent in September, to 7.8 percent, shaking up estimations of the presidential race and providing welcome news for President Obama just a month before Election Day.

The economy added only 114,00 jobs, yet the unemployment rate still dropped from 8.1 percent to 7.8.

Total employment rose by 873,000 in September, a significant jump that explains the drop in the unemployment rate.

The report revised figures up in July and August, and it showed more people entered the workforce last month. This is also the first report to be released since the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced it had undercounted employment for the previous year by 386,000.

September’s is the penultimate report before the presidential election, and the unemployment rate is now lower than when Obama entered office. No incumbent president has won reelection with an unemployment rate above 8 percent since President Franklin Roosevelt.

The report is particularly welcome news for the White House and Obama’s campaign after a difficult week in which Obama was roundly thought to have been beaten in his first debate with Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Romney hit Obama hard during the debate on his handling of the economy, which has been the central issue of the race.

“This is not what a real recovery looks like,” Romney said Friday in reaction to the report.

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