Unemployment Rate Drops To 7.8 Percent, Nearly 4-Year Low
- By Reuters
- Posted Oct 5th 2012 @ 8:25AM
- Filed under: Unemployment Trends and Stats, Employment News & Trends
By Lucia Mutikani
WASHINGTON, Oct 5 (Reuters) - The U.S. unemployment rate dropped to a near four-year low of 7.8 percent in September, a potential boost to President Barack Obama's re-election bid.
The Labor Department said on Friday the unemployment rate, a key focus in the race for the White House, dropped by 0.3 percentage point to its lowest point since January 2009.
A survey of households from which the jobless rate is derived showed 873,000 job gains last month, the most since June 1983. The drop in unemployment came even as Americans come back into the labor force to resume the hunt for work. The workforce had shrank in the prior two months.
The household survey is volatile. A survey of business establishments showed employers added 114,000 jobs to their payrolls last month, a touch above economists' expectations for 113,000 jobs. Employment for July and August was revised to show 86,000 more jobs created than previous reported.
It was the second last report before the Nov. 6 election that pits Obama against Republican Mitt Romney.
A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Thursday after Wednesday's first presidential debate showed Romney gained ground and is now viewed positively by 51 percent of voters. Obama's favorability rating remained unchanged at 56 percent.
Economists blame the so-called fiscal cliff for the slowdown in business hiring, which has left millions of Americans working either part-time or unemployed and too discouraged to look for jobs.
The Congressional Budget Office has warned that a failure by Congress to avoid the automatic tax hikes and government spending cuts that will suck about $600 billion out of the economy next year would knock the economy back into recession.
"Businesses are not hiring people, they want to wait and see how the election evolves and how the political landscape shapes up," said Sung Won Sohn, an economics professor at California State University Channel Islands in Camarillo, California.
"Everyone has kind of battened down the hatches," Sohn said before the release of the report.
Persistently poor labor market conditions led the Federal Reserve in September to announce a plan to buy $40 billion worth of mortgage-backed securities each month until it sees a sustained turnaround in employment.
The central bank, which also pledged to keep overnight lending rates near zero until at least mid-2015, hopes the purchases drive down long-term borrowing costs and spur the recovery.
The Fed's ultra-easy stance has started to free up credit, giving a lift to consumers, economists said. That, in turn, helped lift retail hiring in September.
Temporary help jobs, which are often seen as a harbinger for permanent hiring, fell 2,000 after being almost flat in August.
Manufacturing payrolls fell for a second straight month.
Construction employment rose 5,000, benefiting from the rise in home construction, as demand for housing rises against the backdrop of record low mortgage rates
Government payrolls rose 10,000 after increasing 45,000 in August. Average hourly earnings rose 7 cents last month, which could support spending
Did you read the report? It does have positive news.
You know, this thread really is making me wonder if people have EVER really paid attention to this report. The unemployment rate DID go down, there WERE jobs created. The format of the report is the same every month. All numbers are explained.
The full report:
THE EMPLOYMENT SITUATION -- SEPTEMBER 2012 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. Household Survey Data 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.) The number of persons employed part time for economic reasons (sometimes referred to as involuntary part-time workers) rose from 8.0 million in August to 8.6 million in September. These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job. (See table A-8.) In September, 2.5 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, essentially unchanged from a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) These individuals were not in the labor force, wanted and were available for work, and had looked for a job sometime in the prior 12 months. They were not counted as unemployed because they had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey. (See table A-16.) Among the marginally attached, there were 802,000 discouraged workers in September, a decline of 235,000 from a year earlier. (These data are not seasonally adjusted.) Discouraged workers are persons not currently looking for work because they believe no jobs are available for them. The remaining 1.7 million persons marginally attached to the labor force in September had not searched for work in the 4 weeks preceding the survey for reasons such as school attendance or family responsibilities. (See table A-16.) Establishment Survey Data Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 114,000 in September. In 2012, employment growth has averaged 146,000 per month, compared with an average monthly gain of 153,000 in 2011. In September, employment rose in health care and in transportation and warehousing. (See table B-1.) Health care added 44,000 jobs in September. Job gains continued in ambulatory health care services (+30,000) and hospitals (+8,000). Over the past year, employment in health care has risen by 295,000. In September, employment increased by 17,000 in transportation and warehousing. Within the industry, there were job gains in transit and ground passenger transportation (+9,000) and in warehousing and storage (+4,000). Employment in financial activities edged up in September (+13,000), reflecting modest job growth in credit intermediation (+6,000) and real estate (+7,000). Manufacturing employment edged down in September (-16,000). On net, manufacturing employment has been unchanged since April. In September, job losses occurred in computer and electronic products (-6,000) and in printing and related activities (-3,000). Employment in other major industries, including mining and logging, construction, wholesale trade, retail trade, information, professional and business services, leisure and hospitality, and government, showed little change over the month. The average workweek for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls edged up by 0.1 hour to 34.5 hours in September. The manufacturing workweek edged up by 0.1 hour to 40.6 hours, and factory overtime was unchanged at 3.2 hours. The average workweek for production and nonsupervisory employees on private nonfarm payrolls was unchanged at 33.7 hours. (See tables B-2 and B-7.) In September, average hourly earnings for all employees on private nonfarm payrolls rose by 7 cents to $23.58. Over the past 12 months, average hourly earnings have risen by 1.8 percent. In September, average hourly earnings of private-sector production and nonsupervisory employees increased by 5 cents to $19.81. (See tables B-3 and B-8.) The change in total nonfarm payroll employment for July was revised from +141,000 to +181,000, and the change for August was revised from +96,000 to +142,000.
Sorry, but no. They are not counting the people who've just plain given up looking for work. The actual number of those NOT working is much higher.
This shows a basic misunderstanding of, well, everything. The BLS posts their methodology on line. They have been doing these statistics the exact same way since the Reagan administration. How in the world do you figure the numbers aren't accurate yet you are using them yourself? lol. The monthy report is reported on, well, monthly. Just because YOU just heard about the different numbers doesn't mean that nobody else knew about it. They ALWAYS report on the "real" unemployment number and ALWAYS publish it. I have even heard Obama talk about those numbers.
Obama cannot mess with the BLS, they report stats and thats all they do, and all they have done, since they were formed. You can go to the site and see historical information
Access to historical data for the "A" tables of the Employment Situation News Release
Note: The forms below allow you to retrieve historical data for labor force series found in the monthly "A" tables, based on the household survey, of the Employment Situation news release. The layout of the forms is similar to those published in the monthly "A" tables.
- Table A-1. Employment status of the civilian population by sex and age
- Table A-2. Employment status of the civilian population by race, sex, and age
- Table A-3. Employment status of the Hispanic or Latino population by sex and age
- Table A-4. Employment status of the civilian population 25 years and over by educational attainment
- Table A-5. Employment status of the civilian population 18 years and over by veteran status, period of service, and sex, not seasonally adjusted
- Table A-6. Employment status of the civilian population by sex, age, and disability status, not seasonally adjusted
- Table A-7. Employment status of the civilian population by nativity and sex, not seasonally adjusted
- Table A-8. Employed persons by class of worker and part-time status
- Table A-9. Selected employment indicators
- Table A-10. Selected unemployment indicators, seasonally adjusted
- Table A-11. Unemployed persons by reason for unemployment
- Table A-12. Unemployed persons by duration of unemployment
- Table A-13. Employed and unemployed persons by occupation, not seasonally adjusted
- Table A-14. Unemployed persons by industry and class of worker, not seasonally adjusted
- Table A-15. Alternative measures of labor underutilization
- Table A-16. Persons not in the labor force and multiple jobholders by sex, not seasonally adjusted
The fact that you are acting like everyone else is fooled just because YOU didn't know how the number is calculated is frankly insulting. Go to the BLS and learn something.
Well I have never went along with anything that comes out of the Labor Dept. Because, Obama basically OWNS these types of Depts. He can have them screw with the numbers. Obama in his own words said he will get the numbers down to 5.6%, he FAILED & didn't even come close.
There are two ways they report unemployment figures. Using the U3 numbers, which is what is being reported. (of course, because that would favor Obama better) & then there's the TRUE numbers using teh U6. U6 is what the Gov. doesn't want you to see. It's at 14.7%. This number is including ALL the people that want to work, but can't find a job. Therefore, they have given up. Also, those that have to take a p/t job, even when they need a f/t job. The U3 numbers that are being used & reported uses people that can only be working 1 hr. a wk. That is NOT the TRUE number of our unemployment.
So, I don't know how ANYONE can get excited over any of this. It's very laughable. At the rate Obama is going, it's going to take us till 2025 to get at numbers before the recession. ONLY 63.6% of Americans are working since Carter. Worse economy since WWII. You say that I don't care about those unemployed ummmm.. Well it's Obama that doesn't care. Because, he doesn't care to include all those people that have gotten discouraged & gave up. They don't count anyone, how sad. 23.2M are STILL looking for work!!!! It doesn't take a math wiz to figure this all out Shannon.
Since, Obama has taken office....2009 was worse than 2008...2010 was worse than 2009...2011 was worse than 2010..& 2012 is on it's way to being worse than 2011....So, NO improvement at all..All one has to do Shannon, is look around them. How can ANY American no matter what your party is, be so ignorant & NOT see the FACTS the REALITY. So, Shannon IF you prefer to NOT count those that are wanting to work but can't find a job, or those that have to take a p/t job that may only give them a few hrs. a wk., then go ahead. OR even those hundreds of thousands of Americans that have lost their unemployment benefits, & went straight down to Soc. Sec. Disability to try to get something!! They aren't counted either.
- Table A-1. Employment status of the civilian population by sex and age