Jobless Rate Falls Unexpectedly to 7.8 Percent, Lowest Since January 2009, When Obama Took Office
- Even though the unemployment rate dropped, the pace of job growth was modest, with payrolls up 114,000 in September.
- The jobs report could give a boost to President Obama by signaling that the economy, while still far from robust, is on the mend.
- Economists surveyed by Bloomberg expected payrolls to grow by 115,000 and the unemployment rate to rise a tenth of a percentage point to 8.2 percent. Unemployment has bounced between 8.1 and 8.3 percent all year.
- Friday's report comes amid a raft of mixed signs for the economy. Consumer confidence has moved higher in recent months and the hard-hit housing sector is improving, but other areas of the economy have seen tepid growth. The Commerce Department last week revised down the second-quarter real gross domestic product growth from 1.7 percent to 1.3 percent. And many economists expect activity in the final quarter of the year to be subdued due to uncertainty surrounding the twin year-end threats of spending cuts and expiring tax cuts.
- The unemployment rate for all minority groups fell for the first time in four months.
- The employment report for October will be released on Nov. 2, just four days before the election.