Rise in Part-Time Jobs Drives Unemployment Below 8% (Romney: 'This is not what a real recovery looks like.')
In a different era, the mainstream media might call this a McRecovery.
The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent last month, dropping below 8 percent for the first time in nearly four years. The rate declined because more people found work, a trend that could have an impact on undecided voters in the final month before the presidential election.
The Labor Department said Friday that employers added 114,000 jobs in September. The economy also created 86,000 more jobs in July and August than first estimated. Wages rose in September and more people started looking for work.
Still, many of the jobs added last month were part time. The number of people with part-time jobs who wanted full-time work rose 7.5 percent to 8.6 million.
There is a contradiction within the numbers: Just 114,000 jobs were created, but more than 800,000 said that they found jobs.
Former GE CEO Jack Welch isn't convinced that these new unemployment numbers are real. Reacting to the new figures, he tweeted:
Unbelievable jobs numbers...these Chicago guys will do anything...can't debate so change numbers
Even supposing that the new jobless number is accurate, it still hides the number of those who dropped out of the labor market after failing to find a job. It's also still more than half a point above the 7.2% rate above which no US president has been re-elected since FDR.
More: The U-6, or underemployment rate, held steady at 14.7%.
More: MSDNC's Joe Scarborough -- "These numbers don't make any sense."
Update 8:48 am central: Mitt Romney reacts to the new numbers:
“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. If not for all the people who have simply dropped out of the labor force, the real unemployment rate would be closer to 11%. 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. 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.”