Unemployment falls to 7.8 percent, 114,000 jobs added

Jeremy Hobson Oct 5, 2012

The government’s September jobs report is out this morning and the Bureau of Labor Statistics is reporting that the economy added 114,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent — the first time it’s fallen below eight percent in almost four years.

Bill Kosteas, an economist at Cleveland State University, says that number of jobs added in September is not very strong, “it’s below what we would normally want to see just to keep the employment rate steady. I think the decline in the unemployment rate is actually coming from the upward revisions to the previous two months.”

Jobs numbers for August and July were revised up by 46,000 and 40,000 respectively. “It looks like much of [the upward revision] is being driven public sector hiring, by government hiring, and they actually revised the private sector hiring downward,” says Kosteas.

The labor force participation rate, the fraction of all people who are in the labor force, is becoming another important facet of the monthly jobs report, especially when looking at the overall unemployment rate. In September, the participation rate ticked up a tenth of a percent.

“It’s an ok report, but we’ll have to see the revisions to next month since we’ve been getting some pretty sizable revisions,” says Kosteas of the numbers overall.

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