U.S. unemployment rate dips below 8%
The U.S. unemployment rate has dropped down to 7.8% with than 114,000 jobs created in September, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Today’s announcement marked the first time unemployment rates dipped below 8% since the Great Recession. This year’s unemployment rate has stubbornly hovered between 8.1% and 8.3%.
Much of the job gains in September were driven by health care and transportation industries. Health care added 44,000 jobs, mostly in ambulatory services. Transportation and warehousing added 17,000 jobs.
The September jobs figure brought some good news for President Barack Obama, who has been under attack by Republicans for not doing enough to fix the economy.
In fact, during Wednesday’s debate, Romney told viewers that if Obama is re-elected, “You’ll see chronic unemployment. We’ve had 43 straight months with unemployment above 8 percent.”
Obama said today’s jobs figure is an indication that his policies to strengthen the middle-class and encourage small businesses to grow are working. The White House pointed out that the economy has added private sector jobs for the last 31 months.
“I believe that as a nation, we are moving forward again. We’re moving forward. Now, after losing about 800,000 jobs a month when I took office, our businesses have now added 5.2 million new jobs over the past two and a half years,” Obama told supporters at George Mason University in Virginia. “This country has come too far to turn back now.”
Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch suggested on Twitter today that the White House has manipulated the September employment numbers to score political points following Obama’s lackluster debate performance on Wednesday.
“Unbelievable jobs numbers…these Chicago guys will do anything..can’t debate so change numbers,” Welch tweeted.
- WhiteHouse.gov: Remarks by the President at a Campaign Event — Fairfax, VA on Oct. 5, 2012
- WhiteHouse.gov: The Employment Situation in September
- Bureau of Labor Statistics: Commissioner’s Statement on the Employment Situation on Oct. 5, 2012
- WhatTheFolly.com: U.S. economy added 96K jobs in August but labor participation rate hits 30-year low