Business

U.S. unemployment rate drops to 7.8 percent

Friday, October 05, 2012
Crowds in San Francisco Obama: Jobs report shows economy is on right track

New unemployment numbers out Friday took some of the wind out of the sails of Mitt Romney's presidential campaign. The numbers show that businesses created 114,000 new jobs around the country last month. And the unemployment rate is the best it's been in four year -- 7.8 percent.

The timing is pretty good for President Obama. More than a benefit to the economy, what this number did is change the political conversation from the president's lackluster showing in the debates, to the improving economy.

In San Francisco one sign of an improving economy -- shoppers lined up around the block for the opening of a Uniqlo clothing store, "I feel we have picked up the economy itself, but I don't know about the rest of the country," Uniqulo customer Sing Quan said.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the rest of the country is also improving with 1140,000 new jobs added in September and the revised numbers for July and August showing 86,000 more jobs than originally reported, taking away a favorite line of Mitt Romney's stump speech, "We've had 43 months of straight unemployment above eight percent."

Romney's supporters are now questioning the new labor numbers, "I wouldn't bet my mortgage on these numbers being correct, that's for sure," said Gary Champagne.

But the fact that the president's approval rating has been climbing since the convention, suggests that people feel more hopeful, "It's going to get better, it's stabilizing," Al Nalbandian said. Nalbandian has been selling flowers on Union Square for 66 years. While he's not a supporter of the president, he said he does see what's happening on the street, noting "The worst is over."

For the president, the new numbers shift attention away from his lackluster debate performance and onto a bit of positive news on what is the single biggest issue in the election, "More people entered the work force more people are getting jobs," President Obama said.

Outside Macy's department store, carpenter Dan Miralda says the jobs may be low wage and part time, but at least there are more of them, "It's slowly coming back, but it's going to take a couple more years."

In presidential elections we have seen it's the direction of the economy that drives voters. There will be one more report before Election Day. The October labor numbers are due out November 2 -- four days before the election.

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Tags:
jobs, economy, barack obama, mitt romney, election day, voting, business, mark matthews
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