Employment Figures Show Decrease In Jobless Rate
The Bureau of Labor Statistic released the much-anticipated Employment Situation Summary Friday morning, which contains the updated unemployment rate and number of jobs added to payrolls for the month of September.
Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 114,000, while the unemployment rate declined from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent.
The increase in jobs added to the payroll was almost exactly what economists predicted.
The drop in the unemployment rate was highly unexpected, as it was forecasted to increase from 8.1 percent to 8.2 percent, not dip below 8 percent.
These figures are even more crucial than usual in the recent months, as they are of chief concern to both candidates' campaigns in the presidential race, given the emphasis on economy in the last debate.
As of September's report, the jobless rate is now the lowest it has been at any point in Obama's presidency, and has finally fallen bellow the symbolic 8 percent barrier. This is good news for Obama and takes away the opportunity for Romney and his supporters' to attack how the jobless rate has remained above 8 percent throughout Obama's presidency.
No president has ever been re-elected with an unemployment rate above 8 percent.
Obama was thrilled with the figures.
“We’ve made too much progress to return to the policies that led to the crisis in the first place,” the president said.
After what is generally being considered a lackluster performance in Oct. 3 presidential debate, this may be just what Obama's campaign needs.
Yet Romney's campaign still finds grounds for critique.
"This is not what a real recovery looks like. We created fewer jobs in September than in August, and fewer jobs in August than in July, and we’ve lost over 600,000 manufacturing jobs since President Obama took office," said Romney in a statement online. "If not for all the people who have simply dropped out of the labor force, the real unemployment rate would be closer to 11 percent."
Romney has promised to add 12 million jobs to the labor force through his economic policies over his 4 years in office if elected.
Some Romney supporters, like Jack Welch, the retired CEO of General Electric, suggested the Labor Department manipulated the data.
He tweeted, "Unbelievable jobs numbers..these Chicago guys will do anything..can't debate so change numbers."
With the economy as one of the nation's main concerns, the figures are laregly influential to both presidential candidates' campaigns. The candidates will have one more chance to rehash the unemployment debate before election day, with October's Unemployment Summary being released Nov. 2, a mere four days before election day.
Reach Staff Reporter Fiona Alfait here.