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US unemployment rate drops to 7.8% in Sept; lowest in 4 years

Last Updated: Saturday, October 6, 2012 - 09:10

Washington: Unemployment rate in the US last month dropped to 7.8 percent, lowest since Barack Obama took office, giving the incumbent President's campaign a boost after a disappointing presidential debate.

"The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 7.8 percent in September. For the first eight months of the year, the rate held within a narrow range of 8.1 and 8.3 per cent. The number of unemployed persons, at 12.1 million, decreased by 456,000 in September," the Bureau of Labour Statistics said in its monthly report.

During the month of September the economy added 114,000 jobs.

Given that this is for the first time that the unemployment rate dropped below the eight per cent mark since January 2009 in the Obama Administration, the Obama Campaign immediately hailed it as a sign of economic recovery.

"While there is more work that remains to be done, today's employment report provides further evidence that the US economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression," Alan B Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, said.

This description was challenged by Mitt Romney, the Republican presidential candidate.

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

"If not for all the people who have simply dropped out of the labour force, the real unemployment rate would be closer to 11 per cent," he said.

"The results of President Obama's failed policies are staggering, 23 million Americans struggling for work, nearly one in six living in poverty and 47 million people dependent on food stamps to feed themselves and their families. The choice in this election is clear. Under President Obama, we'll get another four years like the last four years," Romney said.

"If I'm elected, we will have a real recovery with pro-growth policies that will create 12 million new jobs and rising incomes for everyone," Romney said.

"The US unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in more than 3 and a half years in September as the economy continued to add jobs, a potential boost for President Barack Obama's campaign to win a second term. The politically important unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month from 8.1 percent in August. That was the lowest level since January 2009," The Wall Street Journal said.


First Published: Friday, October 5, 2012 - 20:19
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