According to a report released by the Labor Department today, the unemployment rate dropped from 8.2 to 7.8 percent with 114,000 new jobs added.
The fact that it dropped under 8 percent is crucial for the Obama administration as no sitting president, post World War II, has ever been re-elected with an unemployment rate above 8 percent.
The New York Times reports:
While employers added only a modest 114,000 jobs last month, the jobless rate declined to 7.8 percent from 8.1 percent, even though more people entered the labor force.
Adding to the positive news, job gains were revised upward by 40,000 for July (to 181,000) and by 46,000 for August (to 142,000), which had been considered a disappointing month, casting a slightly rosier hue on the summer slowdown.
The private sector, which has been adding jobs since March 2010, grew by 104,000 workers in September. Governments, where cuts have been a drag on the recovery, added 10,000 jobs.
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Even though the jobless rate has fallen, not everyone is happy about it. In fact, some Republicans are claiming that the numbers have been cooked up by the Obama administration.
Mitt Romney said in a statement: “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.”
Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia (R-VA) added: “It simply isn’t good enough" and “should not be cause for celebration.”
Former General Electric CEO Jack Welch, a strong opponent of worker's rights and unions, stated: "Unbelievable jobs numbers... these Chicago guys will do anything... can't debate so change numbers."
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Rep. Allen West (R-FL) wrote on his Facebook page: "I agree with former GE CEO Jack Welch, Chicago style politics is at work here. Somehow by manipulation of data we are all of a sudden below 8 percent unemployment, a month from the Presidential election. This is Orwellian to say the least and representative of Saul Alinsky tactics from the book 'Rules for Radicals' a must read for all who want to know how the left strategize."
However, Hilda Solis, the United States Secretary of Labor, told CNBC that the idea the unemployment numbers were being fixed was "ludicrous."