DISCUSSION: Jobless Rate Dips Below 8 Percent. How Will It Affect Presidential Race?

The jobless rate fell to 7.8 percent in September, with the country adding 114,000 jobs, according to the Labor Department. We ask you, Patch users, will the report affect the presidential race? If so, how?

QUESTION: Will the jobs report released today that shows the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September affect the presidential race? If so, how?

The U.S. economy broke a psychological barrier today, as unemployment fell below 8 percent for the first time since January 2009.

The Labor Department reports that the jobless rate fell to 7.8 percent, with the country adding 114,000 jobs, and the number of people who said they were employed jumped by 873,000.

The number of unemployed Americans is now 12.1 million, the fewest since January 2009.

And due to Labor Department estimates in July and August that were lower than initially estimated, employers added 146,000 jobs per month from July through September, up from 67,000 in the previous three months, according to the Associated Press via the Huffington Post.

The jobs report - part of the central issue in the this year's presidential race between Pres. Barack Obama and Gov. Mitt Romney - comes a month before the election, as well as after a tough few days for the incumbent.

The consensus is Romney won the first presidential debate Tuesday, and his fledgling campaign got a jolt and a new life. He specifically attacked Obama's ability to spur job growth. Now, plenty of election-watchers are wondering whether today's report will slow or even stop that momentum.

For Obama, the report maybe couldn't have come at a better time. He spent much of Wednesday campaigning after his uninspiring debate performance the night before.

So we ask you, Patch users, do you think today's jobs report will change the dynamic of the presidential election? If so, how? Tell us in the comments below.

Brent Champaco October 05, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Come November, there's only one job that I think Americans will be closely watching: Big Bird's.
Sally Beth October 05, 2012 at 03:01 PM
This is a moot discussion or point depending on how you would like to phrase it. The percentage of people on unemployment insurance is not a true reflection of the jobless rate. Do you really think the jobless in the United States are below 8%. Try 20% and up. This situation is so out of hand the measurement tools we onced used to discuss these matters are no longer relevant. So to answer your question these #'s will only have some minimal effect on those voters that are uninformed and while they are waiting for aliens to come down from outerspace and save them.
Greg Johnston (Editor) October 05, 2012 at 03:17 PM
Interesting to note though that today the markets are up close to a five-year high: http://finance.yahoo.com/news/stock-index-futures-indicate-mixed-083622862.html;_ylt=AkArHPZxmdVaP5.BmYJ1zkyiuYdG;_ylu=X3oDMTRwN3E4bjM4BG1pdANGaW5hbmNlIEZQIFRvcCBTdG9yaWVzIG1peGVkIGxpc3QEcGtnAzc3YWIzNjBkLTVmNDQtMzZmNy05OGNkLWY0MzIyNzA0ODVjYgRwb3MDMQRzZWMDTWVkaWFCTGlzdE1peGVkTFBDQVRlbXAEdmVyAzUzNjMxMmEwLTBlZmUtMTFlMi1iZjZmLThmNzRjZGYxNmQ0Mw--;_ylg=X3oDMTFpNzk0NjhtBGludGwDdXMEbGFuZwNlbi11cwRwc3RhaWQDBHBzdGNhdANob21lBHB0A3NlY3Rpb25z;_ylv=3
Brent Champaco October 05, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Conservatives are coming out saying they doubt the validity of the report's numbers: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/05/jobs-numbers-republicans_n_1942200.html?ncid=edlinkusaolp00000003
Dan October 05, 2012 at 04:10 PM
The "Real Unemployment Rate" that Sally is referring to is currently at 14.7%. http://www.bls.gov/news.release/empsit.t15.htm It was near 16% when Obama took office.
Dan October 05, 2012 at 04:17 PM
...and Sally, you really shouldn't try to support Romney, and then say, "...waiting for aliens to come down from outerspace and save them." Have you ever heard of the planet Kolob?
Sally Beth October 05, 2012 at 04:20 PM
And why would anyone question the Democrats right now. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/04/al-gore-blames-altitude-barack-obama-presidential-debate-2012-who-won_n_1940297.html?utm_hp_ref=mostpopular Is this sad or funny. Should there be a warning sign when you drive over our local passes that you may be affected by short term altitude exposure. 5,000 feet. Come on!
Jon Samlin October 05, 2012 at 04:25 PM
Was he jogging and we just didn't notice.
Sally Beth October 05, 2012 at 04:30 PM
Why do you say that when I question the jobless rate not being below 8% that I am supporting Romney with that comment? You yourself are questioning the jobless rate not being below 8%. Why are you mistating what I said and then attacking me for what you tell people I said? Are you a professional politician or just in training? Earth to Planet Kolob.
Saira V. October 05, 2012 at 05:25 PM
Obama's job performance once again is too little too late--just like his debate rebuttals to Romney!
Carla Ritchie October 05, 2012 at 07:54 PM
I don't need to see a report to see driveways filled with cars all day, tons of houses in our area in foreclosure, and and apartment occupancy is at a crazy high rate and they are building apartments as fast as they can and they are filling up as fast as they build them (at least in my area). It used to be the freeways were empty during the day, not so much any longer. I have been out in the Puyallup area helping someone look for a lost dog - I cannot believe how many people are out of work and have been out of work for a looong time (as in, no unemployment benefits long). The good thing I suppose is there are lots of people out during the day to hand out flyers to and who call in sightings. So, I call BS on officially how many people are unemployed and many people I do now are now "underemployed" after being "downsized" out of a long time job, only to see that job retitled and filled by someone at minimum wage. Same with rooms for rent, the new underclass - shocked at how many people now living out of a bedroom in strange home to make ends meet. Not kids, adults that had good jobs, moved up the ladder in the (formerly) normal fashion, that used to live an entirely different life. So after 43 months of over "8%" suddenly it goes down - Didn't earlier this week it come out again unemployment claims were up and factory jobs down? Wait, just yesterday - so really? http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/05/business/economy/claims-for-jobless-benefits-rise.html?_r=0
Christie Anderson October 05, 2012 at 08:05 PM
The reason unemployment has dipped is because of the time of year; this is when retail businesses hire seasonal help for the Christmas Holiday, like it does every year....Unless some poll somewhere shows something different, which I'm sure someone will manage to come up with. But with over 40 years experience in retail, I have seen that to be a fact.
Randy Walden October 06, 2012 at 04:48 PM
The broader U-6 rate — which takes into account part-time workers who want full-time work and lots of discouraged workers who’ve given up looking — stayed unchanged at 14.7%. That’s a better gauge of the true unemployment rate and state of the American labor market.
Christie Anderson October 06, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Careful how you use the term "Big Bird"....it can have a rather negative connotation re a middle digit of one's hand.
Jerry Gropp Architect AIA October 06, 2012 at 09:04 PM
Another BigBird defender in the NYT today. J- http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/06/opinion/blow-dont-mess-with-big-bird.html?_r=1&hp
Ken James October 06, 2012 at 11:12 PM
Very few people will change their minds based on a change in the unemployment percentage. There is little faith that the unemployment number is “real” because there are so many contradictory and illogical aspects to the algorithm used to generate that number. Frankly, for a high percentage of people, including most in Washington State, their votes are not based on what the candidate does or how he has impacted our economic health. People align themselves with a political party that they think is representative of their own ideology and they vote for the candidate nominated by the party. Period. It doesn’t matter the level of competence or experience possessed by the candidate, all that matters is the political affiliation of the candidate. It is an unfortunate truth, but a reading of the comments on this, or any other, blog make that truth evident.
Christie Anderson October 07, 2012 at 01:54 AM
I once worked with a group of women who voted for the best looking presidential candidate, regardless of the fact that he was a philandering and prevaricating fool.
Dan October 07, 2012 at 02:14 AM
Yeah, Reagan was a good looking guy, wasn't he. #zing
Christie Anderson October 07, 2012 at 04:26 AM
@ Dan....To you Reagan may have been attractive, but I vote for who's best for the position....and as to barry the prez....well, I voted for the Infidel.
Hoke Overland October 07, 2012 at 03:36 PM
A classic cook the books and the numbers were challenged the same day. It has been very common for this administration to show front page employment news as positive and then revise downward (a much smaller story, a few pages in a few weeks later). That said, no sitting President has ever been reelected with an unemployment rate above 8%. So whats a fellow to do? Expect a small retraction/adjustment just after the election. We have been very, very lucky in the Seattle area with our big companies during this recession, the rest of the nation is hurting much worse. That said, a lot of locals have lost their small business and homes. If you watched the debate, Romney will change that!
Mary Stidham October 08, 2012 at 09:53 PM
About Big Bird - He can definitely make it on his own without taxpayer input. He would probably need to pay taxes if he was on his own, and would even be one of the 1%. It is absurd that we should be paying for programs that can stand on their own and I would say that is most of what PBS and NPR (who I find very biased) put out. Mary Stidham


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