September Jobs Report Puts Unemployment at 7.8%. Lowest Since January 2009.

By  | 

114,000 jobs added in September. Not bad, but not great.

However, July and August both got BIG revisions upward. 41K more for July and 46K more for August. That puts them at 181K and 142K respectively. Those are starting to look like decent numbers, and may bode well for a September revision upward.

Here are some numbers from this month’s report…

The unemployment rate decreased to 7.8 percent in September, and total nonfarm payroll employment rose by 114,000, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment increased in health care and in transportation and warehousing but changed little in most other major industries.

The unemployment rate declined by 0.3 percentage point to 7.8 percent in September. For the first 8 months of the year, the rate held within a narrow range of 8.1 and 8.3 percent. The number of unemployed persons, at 12.1 million, decreased by 456,000 in September. (See table A-1.)

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.3 percent), adult women (7.0 percent), and whites (7.0 percent) declined over the month. The unemployment rates for teenagers (23.7 percent), blacks (13.4 percent), and Hispanics (9.9 percent) were little changed. The jobless rate for Asians, at 4.8 percent (not seasonally adjusted), fell over the year. (See tables A-1, A-2, and A-3.)

In September, the number of job losers and persons who completed temporary jobs decreased by 468,000 to 6.5 million. (See table A-11.)

The number of persons unemployed for less than 5 weeks declined by 302,000 over the month to 2.5 million. The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) was little changed at 4.8 million and accounted for 40.1 percent of the unemployed. (See table A-12.)

Total employment rose by 873,000 in September, following 3 months of little change. The employment-population ratio increased by 0.4 percentage point to 58.7 percent, after edging down in the prior 2 months. The overall trend in the employment-population ratio for this year has been flat. The civilian labor force rose by 418,000 to 155.1 million in September, while the labor force participation rate was little changed at 63.6 percent. (See table A-1.)

I’m guessing that this will help Obama a little bit because the unemployment number has fallen below 8%…finally. But Romney will claim it’s not enough. Will this sway any voters? Perhaps. Because the jobs numbers are much better in some of the key swing states, and the political reality now for these candidates is micro-targeting. Sure, things like the debates grab a lot of attention, but folks are so much more likely to vote because a candidate addressed them individually about their specific needs. Obama appears to have the advantage in that regard since his outreach machine is massive and has only grown more sophisticated in the past 4 years.

Still, what do you think? Good news for Obama? Will this help him? Or will it help Romney?