WASHINGTON -- The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month, dropping below 8 percent for the first time in nearly four years. The rate fell because more people found work, a trend that could impact the presidential election.
The Labor Department says employers added 114,000 jobs in September. The economy also created 86,000 more jobs in July and August than first 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 unemployment rate fell from 8.1 percent in August, matching its level in January 2009 when President Barack Obama took office.
The decline could help Obama, who is coming off a disappointing debate against Mitt Romney.
The following is a statement from Congressman Bill Flores (R-District 17) on the September jobs report:
“In September, we saw the unemployment rate fall to 7.8 percent. While it is encouraging to see job growth, many Americans are skeptical of the rate reported this morning, because job growth did not exceed what our nation needs to keep up with population growth. Further, the reason that the unemployment rate went down in September is because seven Americans dropped out of the workforce for every person who found a job — this trend has been recurring with nearly each jobs report of the Obama economy. As a result, America’s labor participation rate is only 63.6 percent and remains near an all-time low. If the labor force participation rate was at the same level as when the president took office, the unemployment rate would be at 10.7 percent. The bottom line is that more and more Americans have become frustrated and stopped looking for work and there are over 23 million of our friends and neighbors who are still asking where the jobs under the Obama ‘recovery’ are?
“Just last week, the Department of Commerce issued its update showing that the GDP has grown only 1.3 percent for the second quarter, lower than previously projected. Americans have grown tired of the president’s record of deficits, doubt and decline which has buried the middle class under debt, falling incomes and high unemployment. Americans should not have to suffer under these failed policies. House Republicans have passed over 3 dozen jobs bills which would help businesses flourish, encourage job creation and grow our economy. Yet, the Democrat-controlled Senate refuses to take action on these bills as American families continue to hurt. There is no time like the present to forge a path for promise, prosperity and security for our future.”