Reporting Tim Kephart
WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) – The U.S. unemployment rate fell in September to the lowest rate since President Barack Obama’s first month in office. The Labor Department reported Friday the unemployment dropped to 7.8 percent primarily because more people found jobs.
Overall, the Labor Department said employers added 114,000 jobs in September. Additionally, the July and August jobs numbers were revised higher by 86,000. The revised numbers showed employers added 146,000 jobs from July through September, up from 67,000 in the previous three months.
While recent drops in the unemployment rate have been attributed to the workforce shrinking, the September report indicated a 418,000 person increase in labor force participation, according to TalkingPointsMemo.com.
The job market has been slowly recovering from the economic collapse of 2007-2009. Jobs have been added for 24 straight months and overall, no matter from what date you measure Obama’s jobs numbers, he is in positive territory.
According to the Labor Department, the September numbers were led by the health care industry, followed by transportation and warehousing. The numbers also showed governments added 63,000 jobs in July and August, which had earlier been estimated to show losses.
But, as with any jobs report, the problem is seeing how many of the jobs are part-time versus full-time. The state of Florida doesn’t track whether a job is full-time with benefits or a part-time job. The Labor Department said the number of people with part-time jobs who wanted full-time jobs was 8.6 million.
The numbers come at a good time for President Barack Obama and undercut an attack used by Republicans against him about unemployment remaining above 8 percent.
For his part, Mitt Romney took about half an hour, longer than usual, to respond to the jobs report. Romney said “This is not what a real recovery looks like.” Romney also reiterated that his policies will create 12 million jobs over the next four year, which is what economists expect will happen regardless of who is president.
Florida’s unemployment numbers for September will be released in a a few weeks.