Unemployment Rate Magically Dropped To Under 8%


Boy, was this predictable or what? Yesterday I noted Dana’s prediction in my post about initial jobless claims.

Tomorrow is the reporting date for the Big Number, the official unemployment rate. A lot of conservatives believe that the numbers will be manipulated so that the official unemployment rate will be below 8% just before election day, and then “revised upward” after the election has passed. But even if that happens, the real unemployment rate, the numbers as they should be counted (meaning: not excluding “discouraged” people who have stopped looking for work) will be over 10%.

Today the government announced that the unemployment rate fell below 8%. The folks at WaPo must be doing the Snoopy dance.

Maybe the summer lull in the job market wasn’t much of a lull after all.

The unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September, the Labor Department said Friday, from 8.1 percent in July, its lowest since January 2009, in a surprising show of improvement in a job market that had seemed listless in recent months.

Employers reported creating 114,000 jobs in September, almost identical to analysts’ forecasts, but revisions to data from July and August brought improvement of that measure of the job market as well.

Every week they revise the number of workers seeking jobless benefits upward, but the unemployment rate dropped? How could this be?

 But what was the reason for this epic jump in Household survey jobs? Simple, and those who have read our series on America’s transition to a part-time worker society know the answer. The reason is that the number of part-time people employed for economic reasons soared by 582,000 to 8,613,000, the most since October 2011, and the largest one month jump since February 2009, when “restoring” confidence in the economy was all the rage… and just before the Fed announced the full blown QE1 in March of 2009. Odd symmetry.

Go read the whole thing and look at the charts. People who want full time jobs can’t find them so they’re settling for part time work. Plus I’m sure a good number of people dropped out of the labor market as well, which also “helps” the numbers.

Speaking of charts, here’s another one I came across the other day depicting the number of Americans participating in the labor market.

Yup – 4 million fewer Americans are working today than when Obama took office.

Update: More reaction:


But even more mysterious is the divergence in the two surveys done by the Labor Department.

The Household Survey showed a gain of 873,000 people employed in September – resulting in the surprise drop in the unemployment rate – while the Establishment Survey only showed a rise of 114,000.

James Pethokoukis:

Is this the Obama October Surprise?

Only in an era of depressingly diminished expectations could the September jobs report be called a good one. It really isn’t. Not at all.

Rep. Allen West:

 However, today’s jobs report is confusing to say the least. Previous months numbers have been revised and yet the workforce participation rate remains at a 30 year low. The unemployment rate drops to 7.8 percent, that is where it was in January 2009 when the President took office.  But the U6 computation of unemployed, underemployed, and discouraged Americans remains the same at 14.7 percent. 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 . Trust the Obama administration? Sure, and the spontaneous reaction to a video caused the death of our Ambassador……and pigs fly.

Business Insider has more from Jack Welch.

Mitt Romney said this is not what a recovery looks like.

Obama is out on the stump declaring this news means the economy is doing just swell!