US Jobless Rate Falls to 7.8 Pct., 44-Month Low

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  • WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month, dropping below 8 percent for the first time in nearly four years and giving President Barack Obama a potential boost with the election a month away.

    The rate declined from 8.1 percent because the number of people who said they were employed soared by 873,000 — an encouraging sign for an economy that's been struggling to create enough jobs.

    The number of unemployed Americans is now 12.1 million, the fewest since January 2009.

    The Labor Department said employers added 114,000 jobs in September. It also said the economy created 86,000 more jobs in July and August than the department had initially estimated.

    Wages rose in September. And more people started looking for work.

    The revisions show employers added 146,000 jobs per month from July through September, up from 67,000 in the previous three months.

    The 7.8 percent unemployment rate for September matches the rate in January 2009, when Obama took office. In the months after Obama's inauguration, the rate rose sharply and had topped 8 percent for 43 straight months.

    The decline in the unemployment rate comes at a critical moment for Obama, who is coming off a weak debate performance this week against GOP challenger Mitt Romney.

    The September employment report may be the last that might sway undecided voters. The October jobs report will be released only four days before Election Day.

    "An overall better-than-expected jobs report, consistent with most recent data that suggest the economy is gaining some momentum," said Sal Guatieri, an economist at BMO Capital Markets, in a note to clients. "The sizeable drop in the unemployment rate could lift the president's re-election chances following a post-debate dip."

    After the jobs report was released, the Dow Jones industrial average gained 65 points in the first half hour of trading. Broader stock indexes also rose.

    The yield on the 10-year U.S. Treasury note climbed to 1.73 percent from 1.68 percent just before the report. That suggested that investors were more willing to take on risk and shift money from bonds into stocks.

    The job market has been improving, sluggishly but steadily. Jobs have been added for 24 straight months. There are now 325,000 more than when Obama took office.

    The number of employed Americans comes from a government survey of 60,000 households that determines the unemployment rate. The government asks a series of questions, by phone or in person. For example:

    Do you own a business? Did you work for pay? If not, did you provide unpaid work for a family business or farm? (Those who did are considered employed.)

    Afterward, the survey participants are asked whether they had a job and, if so, whether it was full or part time. The government's definition of unemployed is someone who's out of work and has actively looked for a job in the past four weeks.

    The government also does a second survey of roughly 140,000 businesses to determine the number of jobs businesses created or lost.

    The September job gains were led by the health care industry, which added 44,000 jobs — the most since February. Transportation and warehousing also showed large gains.

    The revisions also showed that federal, state and local governments added 63,000 jobs in July and August, compared with earlier estimates that showed losses.

    Still, many of the jobs the economy added last month were part time. The number of people with part-time jobs who wanted full-time work rose 7.5 percent to 8.6 million, the most since February 2009.

    But overall, Friday's report dispelled some fears about the job market.

    The "U.S. could be growing jobs at a marginally faster pace than feared mid-summer," Guy LeBas, a strategist at Janney Capital Markets, wrote in a research note. "Even with the issues in Europe and slowing production in China, U.S. economic activity does not look to be bearing the brunt of global downside, at least not anymore."
     

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    9 thoughts on “US Jobless Rate Falls to 7.8 Pct., 44-Month Low

    1. Jeg er en af ​​de mennesker, der har mistet deres job i fortiden, og jeg er meget skuffet på det tidspunkt. Men jeg holder udkig efter et job et findes i en i helse online, og det er et meget godt stykke arbejde. Jeg er nu en sælger og sælger chia frø online.

    2. Mighty funny thing unemployment wasn’t a factor, in the 2004 Presidental election. WHY? Because the ‘fear and scare tactics’ created during the Bush/Cheney, therefore distracting the people who lost their jobs.

    3. First, environmental degradation. Empires always end by destroying the lands and waters they depend upon for survival, largely because they build and farm and grow without limits, and ours is no exception, even if we have yet to experience the worst of our assault on nature. Science is in agreement that all important ecological indicators are in decline and have been for decades: erosion of topsoils and beaches, overfishing, deforestation, freshwater and aquifer depletion, pollution of water, soil, air, and food, soil salinization, overpopulation , overconsumption, depletion of oil and minerals, introduction of new diseases and invigoration of old ones, extreme weather, melting icecaps and rising sealevels, species extinctions, and excessive human overuse of the earth’s photosynthetic capacity. As the Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson has said, after lengthy examination of human impact on the earth, our “ecological footprint is already too large for the planet to sustain, and it is getting larger.” A Defense Department study last year predicted “abrupt climate change,” likely to occur within a decade, will lead to “catastrophic” shortages of water and energy, endemic “disruption and conflict,” warfare that “would define human life,” and a “significant drop” in the planet’s ability to sustain its present population. End of empire for sure, maybe end of civilization.

      Second, economic meltdown. Empires always depend on excessive resource exploitation, usually derived from colonies farther and farther away from the center, and eventually fall when the resources are exhausted or become too expensive for all but the elite. This is exactly the path we are on-peak oil extraction, for example, is widely predicted to come in the next year or two-and our economy is built entirely on a fragile system in which the world produces and we, by and large, consume (U.S. manufacturing is just 13 per cent of our GDP). At the moment we sustain a nearly $630 billion trade deficit with the rest of the world-it has leapt by an incredible $500 billion since 1993, and $180 billion since Bush took office in 2001-and in order to pay for that we have to have an inflow of cash from the rest of the world of about $1 billion every day to pay for it, which was down by half late last year. That kind of excess is simply unsustainable, especially when you think that it is the other world empire, China, that is crucial for supporting it, at the tune of some $83 billion on loan to the U.S. treasury.

      Add to that an economy resting on a nearly $500 billion Federal budget deficit, making up part of a total national debt of $7.4 trillion as of last fall, and the continual drain on the economy by the military of at least $530 billion a year (not counting military intelligence, whose figure we never know). Nobody thinks that is sustainable either, which is why the dollar has lost value everywhere-down by 30 per cent against the euro since 2000-and the world begins to lose faith in investment here. I foresee that in just a few years the dollar will be so battered that the oil states will no longer want to operate in that currency and will turn to the euro instead, and China will let the yuan float against the dollar, effectively making this nation bankrupt and powerless, unable to control economic life within its borders much less abroad.

      Third, military overstretch. Empires, because they are by definition colonizers, are always forced to extend their military reach farther and farther, and enlarge it against unwilling colonies more and more, until coffers are exhausted, communication lines are overextended, troops are unreliable, and the periphery resists and ultimately revolts. The American empire, which began its worldwide reach well before Bush II, now has some 446,000 active troops at more than 725 acknowledged (and any number secret) bases in at least 38 countries around the world, plus a formal “military presence” in no less than 153 countries, on every continent but Antarctica-and nearly a dozen fully armed courier fleets on all the oceans. Talk about overstretch: the U.S. is less than 5 per cent of the world’s population. And now that Bush has declared a “war on terror,” instead of the more doable war on Al Quada we should have waged, our armies and agents will be on a battlefield universal and permanent that cannot possibly be controlled or contained.

      So far that military network has not collapsed, but as Iraq indicates it is mightily tested and quite incapable of establishing client states to do our bidding and protect resources we need. And as anti-American sentiment continues to spread and darken-in all the Muslim countries, in much of Europe, in much of Asia-and as more countries refuse the “structural adjustments” that our IMF-led globalization requires, it is quite likely that the periphery of our empire will begin resisting our dominance, militarily if necessary. And far from having a capacity to fight two wars simultaneously, as the Pentagon once hoped, we are proving that we can’t even fight one.

      Finally, domestic dissent and upheaval. Traditional empires end up collapsing from within as well as often being attacked from without, and so far the level of dissent within the U.S. has not reached the point of rebellion or secession-thanks both to the increasing repression of dissent and escalation of fear in the name of “homeland security” and to the success of our modern version of bread and circuses, a unique combination of entertainment, sports, television, internet sex and games, consumption, drugs, liquor, and religion that effectively deadens the general public into stupor. But the tactics of the Bush II administration show that it is so fearful of an expression of popular dissent that it is willing to defy and ignore environmental, civil-rights, and progressive groups, to bribe commentators to put out its propaganda, to expand surveillance and data-base invasions of privacy, to use party superiority and backroom tactics to ride roughshod over Congressional opposition, to use lies and deceptions as a normal part of government operations, to break international laws and treaties for short-term ends, and to use religion to cloak its every policy.

      It’s hard to believe that the great mass of the American public would ever bestir itself to challenge the empire at home until things get much, much worse. It is a public, after all, of which, as a Gallup poll in 2004 found, 61 per cent believe that “religion can answer all or most of today’s problems,” and according to a Time/CNN poll in 2002 59 per cent believe in the imminent apocalypse foretold in the Book of Revelation and take every threat and disaster as evidence of God’s will. And yet, it’s also hard to believe that a nation so thoroughly corrupt as this-in all its fundamental institutions, its boughten parties, academies, corporations, brokerages, accountants, governments-and resting on a social and economic base of intolerably unequal incomes and property, getting increasingly unequal, will be able to sustain itself for long. The upsurge in talk about secession after the last election, some of which was deadly serious and led on to organizations throughout most of the blue states, indicates that at least a minority is willing to think about drastic steps to “alter or abolish” a regime it finds itself fundamentally at odds with.

      Those four processes by which empires always eventually fall seem to me to be inescapably operative, in varying degrees, in this latest empire. And I think a combination of several or all of them will bring about its collapse within the next 15 years or so.

    4. I just hope enough of America can see through the smoke and mirrors, as one of the millions of unemployed and high educated gaining employment is a relative status. I believe there is a “job” for everyone but not necessarily the right job paying the rate of knowledge the employer is gaining. I cringe when I hear the term “hire” for small business repeated in the debate by Romney where are small businesses going to get the funds to hire anybody, tax breaks alone don’t do it. A company has to be making profits to be able to hire people and most small businesses need capital like my company. Well if your company is not making money you don’t qualify for any government money so you don’t really end up helping those most in need but feeding those few. Where is the Bill Clinton money that never made it the economic zones that qualified during his administration. The money is recycle among the same vendors. Obama had 4 years of just cleaning up Bush’s bs that it will take the next 4 year to initiate his plan. He is more than deserving I don’t care what the unemployment rate is. People see through the smoke and mirrors and don’t get hung up on that figure cause it is all relative. Vote OBAMA 2012 YES WE CAN!

    5. Also, most people do not take into consideration the fact that the President has been able to grow the economy WITHOUT being able to implement his REAL economic plan because of the rabid, racist opposition of the Republicans to every agenda plan he has tried to put forth! But in spite of them, there is STILL job and economic growth!! The President’s plans ARE already working!! Let’s give him a favorable Congress so he can do even more!! Vote Democrat!!

    6. Oh I see, then that must mean Romneys real plan (not caring about 47% of the country and attacking our children) is to really make this country like Iraq. Thats what I want.

    7. Of course Obama’s plans need time to work because his true plan is to make Americans subservient to the Federal Government! Its going to require changing the constitution! the last thing to go will be the right to bear arms then we really will be like the Soviet Union

    8. I disagree, the country is slowly getting back on its feet, Obama dose diserve a chance to complete what he`s started. His plans need time to work, how long do you think Mitts plan to get rid of Big Bird and Planned parenthood would take to jump start the country

    9. When you look behind the real numbers and not the smoke, mirrors and lies of the government …. The true unemployemnet is over 15% … Not fooled.
      We are already back in a recession and there has never been a recovery.

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