The unemployment rate fell below eight percent for the first time in 43 months, according to the federal government September jobs report. The figures also show a Hispanic unemployment rate that has dropped below 10 percent for the first time since December 2008, before President Obama took office. Excerpts from the Univison/ABC News Report below
Overall this report marks the first time in a long time that a significant uptick in the number of people leaving the workforce did not drive down the unemployment rate, which is calculated by dividing the number of unemployed by the number of people seeking work. That trend is clearly positive. The size of the labor force actually grew by 418,000 in September, showing that more people are working and looking for work.
The sharper than expected drop in the unemployment rate in September was partly the result of revisions which found that 86,000 more jobs were created in July and August than originally estimated.
But it is important to keep in mind that the 114,000 job increase of September is not enough to keep up with population growth. Ezra Klein of the Washington Post points out that at the current pace, it will take more than a decade to return to full employment. The U.S. economy lost 8.8 million jobs during the Great Recession (2007-09) and less than half, around 4.3 million, have been recovered.