With the upcoming presidential election quickly approaching, the BLS has just released one of the most encouraging jobs reports of President Barack Obama’s first term.
According to “The Employment Situation – September 2012,” the national unemployment rate dropped below eight percent for the first month since January 2009, falling from 8.1 to 7.8 percent. Prior to the release of the report, a majority of economists had projected the rate would linger between 8.1 and 8.3 percent, as it had throughout 2012. After all, the rate had remained above eight percent for a record-breaking 43 consecutive months.
For the first time since Obama was inaugurated, unemployment is declining on a regular basis. In fact, since September 2011, the rate has contracted by 1.2 percent – the largest annual decrease since February 1995; within the last two months alone, the rate has deteriorated by 0.5 percent.
Furthermore, the report found that employment rose by 114,000 last month, matching economists’ expectations that 110,000 to 115,000 jobs would be generated. The employment increase led to a substantial drop in the total number of jobless Americans, from 12.5 million to 12.1 million, the lowest monthly total since January 2009.
As a further sign of economic progress, the BLS also discovered that more jobs had been created in July and August than originally thought. July’s job creation figures have recently been raised from 141,000 to 181,000, while August’s data increased considerably, rising from 96,000 to 142,000.
Since January, the economy has added an average of 142,000 jobs per month, a decrease of 7,000, in comparison to last year’s monthly job creation average. However, private sector jobs have been generated for 31 straight months – and there are 325,000 more jobs now than there was when Obama was inaugurated on January 20, 2009. In all, 5.2 million private sector jobs have been added to the economy since March 2010.
In addition, the civilian labor force augmented by 418,000 in September, rising to 155.1 million, while the employment-to-population ratio increased to 58.7 percent, its highest level since May 2010.