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.