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News & Politics News & Politics

Jobless Rate Falls to 7.8%, Lowest Since January 2009

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The nation's unemployment rate dropped sharply to 7.8 percent in September, its lowest level since the month President Obama took office, the Labor Department said Friday.

While employers added only a modest 114,000 jobs last month, the jobless rate declined from 8.1 percent in August. The unemployment rate fell because more people were working, not because discouraged job seekers stopped looking, the numbers showed.

Adding to the positive news, job gains were revised upward by 40,000 for July (to 181,000) and by 46,000 for August (to 142,000), casting a slightly rosier light on what had been perceived as a summer slump.

Rising employment is good news for President Obama a month before the election as he vies to convince voters that he is better equipped than his Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, to steer the economy back to health.

Though the new numbers were in line with a surge in consumer confidence last month, even before their release some of the president's detractors were trying to suggest that the data were, or could be, manipulated in the incumbent's favor.

On CNBC, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis dismissed the implications as "ludicrous" and there was no evidence of any irregularity.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is part of the Labor Department but has no political appointees at the moment, computes the numbers from two surveys,one of businesses and one of households. By definition, the data in both surveys are not precise and are subject to regular revisions. Recently, those revisions have showed a strengthening labor market, suggesting that if anything the economy may be improving more than initially reported.

Still, Mr. Romney took issue with any positive interpretation of the latest jobs report.

"This is not what a real recovery looks like," he said in a statement. "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."

Indeed, manufacturing, one of the bright spots that Mr. Obama has showcased throughout the re-election campaign, fell 16,000 jobs after losing a revised 22,000 in August in the face of a global slowdown. And the number of temporary jobs, usually considered a harbinger of future growth, fell 2,000.

Still, while Republicans can criticize the recovery's mincing pace, Democrats can point to the 24th straight month of overall job growth after a severe financial crisis.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Democrat from Nevada, said the report "shows that the balanced policies advanced by President Obama and Democrats in the House and Senate are working to move our economy forward."

The private sector, which has been adding jobs since March 2010, grew by 104,000 workers in September. Governments, where job cuts have been a drag on the recovery, added 10,000 jobs, their third straight month of gains.

Wages and hours worked ticked up, combining to increase earnings by 0.7 percent, and construction jobs grew by 5,000 as a housing market recovery began to gain momentum.

There are now almost the same number of jobs as when Mr. Obama took office in January 2009. Since the economy stopped hemorrhaging jobs in February 2010, there has been an increase of more than 400,000. A mere 62,000 increase in the number of jobs would allow Mr. Obama to claim a net increase in jobs over his tenure.

This year, the economy has added an average of 146,000 jobs a month. Economists say that job growth of between 100,000 and 175,000 a month is essentially neutral in terms of its effect on the election, while anything greater would favor the incumbent.

Still, Nigel Gault, the chief United States economist at HIS Global Insight, wrote that he believes Friday's report was "highly significant politically" but "less significant economically," noting that underemployment, which counts people who would like to work full time but can find only part-time jobs, was unchanged over August. It was down over the year, from 16.4 million to 14.7 million.

If the jobs report seemed like a tale of two economies - one with a rapidly improving jobless rate, the other with mediocre growth in new jobs - it is because the business and household surveys can often capture very different pictures of what is going on.

The household survey, which showed a whopping increase of 873,000 people working, is much more volatile and prone to sampling error. But it captures aspects of the labor market that the business survey does not, like self-employment, household workers and farm workers. Economists said that this month's household survey likely overstated the improvement, but deserved credibility because it matched the unexpectedly robust rise in consumer confidence in September.

Critics can be quick to write off a falling jobless rate as the result of job seekers who grow discouraged and stop looking for work, meaning they are no longer counted as part of the labor force. But that is not the story of the past year.

Participation in the labor force has inched up, even though demographic factors like the aging population would suggest that it should be falling, depressed economy aside. "The labor force is not growing as much as the population is growing but the number of people employed and the employment-to-population ratio are growing," said Betsey Stevenson, a labor economist and professor of public policy at the University of Michigan. "That's what you need to bring the unemployment rate down."

Representative Kevin Brady, a Republican from Texas and vice chairman of the joint economic committee, said the drop in the unemployment rate "was driven primarily by an increase of 582,000 in the number of workers employed involuntarily in part-time jobs. These workers need and want full-time jobs." About 6 percent of all workers are part-time when they would prefer to work full-time.

Like Republicans and Democrats, consumers and businesses have divergent views of the economic situation. Consumers have shown increasing confidence as stocks rise, home prices stabilize and their perception of the job market becomes sunnier.

Business leaders have been hanging back, though, more focused on global economic slowing and domestic concerns. They say they are uncertain what the election will mean for the business climate and are waiting in part for a resolution of the so-called fiscal cliff, a host of tax increases and budget cuts that will be triggered at the end of the year if Congress fails to act.

Harry Kazazian, the chief executive officer of Exxel Outdoors, a maker of camping equipment in Alabama, said the election, the fiscal cliff and rapidly shifting regulations had put him in a cautious mood.

With sales on the rise, Exxel has restarted a capital investment plan that it suspended three years ago, but is doing so slowly. "We're moving forward, but we're doing it in steps rather than being much more aggressive and putting ourselves out there," Mr. Kazazian said. "I wouldn't be surprised if things start turning the other way, meaning down."

But at a Walmart in Atlanta, shoppers were loosening the reins a bit, buying what they described as small indulgences like scented candle oil and seasonal beer.

Linda Avery, 50, a food service manager, said her income had not changed but her daughter had moved out of the house, reducing her food and utility expenses.

Michael Peacock, 43, said that although his house was in foreclosure, his chosen field, online marketing, was improving to the point where he could even turn down some jobs that were outside his specialty.

"I can see people shopping," Ms. Avery said, surveying the store. "You just feel like things are getting a little better."

The polling firm Gallup pinpointed September's rise in consumer confidence to the first day of the Democratic National Convention, and said it was almost entirely because of increased optimism among Democrats, while confidence among Republicans held steady at low levels. But Gallup could not say whether politics or improving economic conditions drove the change.

The discrepancy between consumers' mood and the outlook of companies can be easily explained, economists said. "Businesses are much more forward looking," said Ellen Zentner, the senior United States economist for Nomura Securities International.

Concerns over the fiscal cliff had begun showing up in business surveys in April, she said. "It's been weighing on their investment and hiring decisions for quite some time."

In a survey of 400 chief financial officers conducted this summer, Grant Thornton, a management consulting firm, found that many had shifted from neutrality to pessimism, with 45 percent of respondents saying they expected their work force to hold steady and 18 percent saying they expected it to shrink over the next six months. A large majority said they expected both health care costs and salaries to increase.

Stephen Chipman, the chief executive of Grant Thornton, said there appeared to be genuine growth in the technology, high-end manufacturing and energy sectors, while growth in health care was largely a result of consolidation and increased efficiency, and financial service hiring was largely driven by the need to comply with more regulations.

Still, the overall picture may be better than previously thought. Monthly job estimates are notoriously imprecise and often fall within the margin of error, and the adjustment process is slow.

In an annual recalibration last month, the Bureau of Labor Statistics estimated that there were actually 400,000 more jobs added in the 12 months that ended in March than was previously thought. That benchmark will not be incorporated into the monthly jobs figures until early next year.




http://mobile.nytimes.com/2012/10/06/business/economy/us-added-114000-jobs-in-september-rate-drops-to-7-8.xml
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
by on Oct. 5, 2012 at 2:11 PM
Replies (31-36):
celestegood
by on Oct. 6, 2012 at 8:52 AM

 The method we use to gague unemployment is flawed, but as it is all we have, its an ok way to see how the economy is doing.

We are finally rebounding-and it will get better slowly.

Hopefully, in another four years, we'll be more on track and where we need to be.

celestegood
by on Oct. 6, 2012 at 8:56 AM

 

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

Quoting lnicole:

 Rush Limbaugh is a racist ass.

Barack Obama has sowed more division in America than any President in my life time. I did my homework on Obama prior to his election. I live near the windy city. Many of his associates are racists. Obama has made racist comments.

 

The seeds of his far-left ideology were planted in his formative years as a teenager in Hawaii - and they were far more radical than any biography or profile in the media has portrayed.

A careful reading of Obama's first memoir, "Dreams From My Father," reveals that his childhood mentor up to age 18 - a man he cryptically refers to as "Frank" - was none other than the late communist Frank Marshall Davis, who fled Chicago after the FBI and Congress opened investigations into his "subversive," "un-American activities."

As Obama was preparing to head off to college, he sat at Davis' feet in his Waikiki bungalow for nightly bull sessions. Davis plied his impressionable guest with liberal doses of whiskey and advice, including: Never trust the white establishment.

"They'll train you so good," he said, "you'll start believing what they tell you about equal opportunity and the American way and all that sh**."



Read More At IBD: http://news.investors.com/072808-489219-barack-obamas-stealth-socialism.aspx#ixzz28R92fjh6

 

Quoting Kathy489:

 

Quoting erika9009:

I know, it's like this was scripted or something.

Oh wait, it was.  Rush did predict this.  Rush has his weirdness, but he called this out in Dec 2011.

Things are starting to look more and more fixed than real.

Quoting imamomzilla:

 Gee....what a coincidence. Obummer flubs the debate...unemployment numbers drop...just as the ocean's water recedes ;-)

Omm.

 

This is absolutely right:

From Today at Right Wing News

I've listened to Rush Limbaugh off and on for 20 years now. I agree with him on most things. I wish his personal life wasn't so dramatic and unfortunate, but no one can argue the fact that he is the best broadcaster out there, bar none.

Through the years I've always been amazed how right he was, and I'm not talking about issues or personal beliefs. I'm talking about predictions and the reasons behind political decisions. He warned us during the primaries that nominating anyone but a true conservative would be the wrong candidate. I didn't believe him. Like a lot of Republicans, I thought we needed a more moderate Republican. One who had compromised with the other side. One that would bring us the independents and moderate Democrats. I thought McCain fit that to a tee. And he did. But I was wrong, and Rush was right. When we stick to our ideals and principles, we win.

But for the last year Rush has been saying something about the Obama administration that I can't wrap my mind around. I just can't believe it could possibly be true. What is it? Well, if you have been listening to Rush you know.

He believes that the Obama administration is destroying the economy on purpose. On purpose. He says that the more people depend on the government, the more control the government has over the people and it's institutions. He says this plan is a way for Democrats to stay in power.....always.

 

 

 

 I am sure that if I was raised as a black man in this country, I would have some annoyance for the racist whites in this country.  Sure, not all are racist, but a lot are.

Which is evident if you have ever opened your eyes and actually seen the way things are in this country.  Try it sometime.  You might be surprised.

duets
by Bronze Member on Oct. 6, 2012 at 12:34 PM
1 mom liked this

Too little, too late......NV UNemployment rate still horrible.....12.1

We continue to  lead the nation in UNemployment!!!! & the housing foreclosure market!!!! 

blondekosmic15
Report
In the process of decorating my pf page
Saturday at 4:59 PM
by Blonde on Oct. 8, 2012 at 1:12 AM

 

Quoting celestegood:

 

Quoting blondekosmic15:

 

Quoting lnicole:

 Rush Limbaugh is a racist ass.

Barack Obama has sowed more division in America than any President in my life time. I did my homework on Obama prior to his election. I live near the windy city. Many of his associates are racists. Obama has made racist comments.

 

The seeds of his far-left ideology were planted in his formative years as a teenager in Hawaii - and they were far more radical than any biography or profile in the media has portrayed.

A careful reading of Obama's first memoir, "Dreams From My Father," reveals that his childhood mentor up to age 18 - a man he cryptically refers to as "Frank" - was none other than the late communist Frank Marshall Davis, who fled Chicago after the FBI and Congress opened investigations into his "subversive," "un-American activities."

As Obama was preparing to head off to college, he sat at Davis' feet in his Waikiki bungalow for nightly bull sessions. Davis plied his impressionable guest with liberal doses of whiskey and advice, including: Never trust the white establishment.

"They'll train you so good," he said, "you'll start believing what they tell you about equal opportunity and the American way and all that sh**."



Read More At IBD: http://news.investors.com/072808-489219-barack-obamas-stealth-socialism.aspx#ixzz28R92fjh6

 

Quoting Kathy489:

 

Quoting erika9009:

I know, it's like this was scripted or something.

Oh wait, it was.  Rush did predict this.  Rush has his weirdness, but he called this out in Dec 2011.

Things are starting to look more and more fixed than real.

Quoting imamomzilla:

 Gee....what a coincidence. Obummer flubs the debate...unemployment numbers drop...just as the ocean's water recedes ;-)

Omm.

 

This is absolutely right:

From Today at Right Wing News

I've listened to Rush Limbaugh off and on for 20 years now. I agree with him on most things. I wish his personal life wasn't so dramatic and unfortunate, but no one can argue the fact that he is the best broadcaster out there, bar none.

Through the years I've always been amazed how right he was, and I'm not talking about issues or personal beliefs. I'm talking about predictions and the reasons behind political decisions. He warned us during the primaries that nominating anyone but a true conservative would be the wrong candidate. I didn't believe him. Like a lot of Republicans, I thought we needed a more moderate Republican. One who had compromised with the other side. One that would bring us the independents and moderate Democrats. I thought McCain fit that to a tee. And he did. But I was wrong, and Rush was right. When we stick to our ideals and principles, we win.

But for the last year Rush has been saying something about the Obama administration that I can't wrap my mind around. I just can't believe it could possibly be true. What is it? Well, if you have been listening to Rush you know.

He believes that the Obama administration is destroying the economy on purpose. On purpose. He says that the more people depend on the government, the more control the government has over the people and it's institutions. He says this plan is a way for Democrats to stay in power.....always.

 

 

 

 I am sure that if I was raised as a black man in this country, I would have some annoyance for the racist whites in this country.  Sure, not all are racist, but a lot are.

I support a healthy exchange in terms of racism and cultural/ethnic differences. Yes, there are fanatics are both sides but Barack Obama has a litany of radical friends and associates thru out his life including the 20+ yrs he sat in the pews of Jeremiah Wright's Church. I am a Christian. If the Priest of my Parish made any statements such as Pastor Wright did { teaches Black Liberation Theology, Marxism } I would immediately leave with my family and find a new Church to attend. When you fill your mind with extreme & divisive teachings for yrs, a revelation of one's character and judgment. Barack and Michelle Obama have both made racist comments. They associate with many ppl. who share similar views as their Pastor. Even more radical than Minister Wright. Lesson 101....you are the company you keep.

Which is evident if you have ever opened your eyes and actually seen the way things are in this country.  Try it sometime.  You might be surprised.

Pls do not pretend to know me and my personal experiences which have taught me compassion and sensitivity toward others. I have lived in various parts of the world which have opened my eyes to suffering, poverty and racism. I grew up on Military bases and many of my friends have been African American, Latino, Asian etc. I am a member of a diverse family in terms of culture, religion and ethinicity. Thank you for the suggestion but before you lecture someone, you would be wise to know what you are talking about~

 

blondekosmic15
Report
In the process of decorating my pf page
Saturday at 4:59 PM
by Blonde on Oct. 8, 2012 at 1:15 AM

 

Quoting duets:

Too little, too late......NV UNemployment rate still horrible.....12.1

We continue to  lead the nation in UNemployment!!!! & the housing foreclosure market!!!! 

Economists contend the actual #'s are 14.7%. Some economists believe the figures are higher than this in various parts of the Country~

Dimples303
by on Oct. 8, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Sure the unemployment rate fell below 8% for the first time sense January 2009, that's great. The problem is the surplus of PART-TIME jobs was due to cut hours and the unavalability of full-time jobs. How many people do you know can survive off of a part-time job?? 

The U-6 rate which takes into account the part-time workers looking for full-time jobs as well as people that have looked and given up stayed the same at 14.7% which is a broader more effective measure of the unemployment rate. 

"Believe none of what you hear and half of what you see" Benjamin Franklin


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