America’s “official” unemployment rate dropped below 8 percent in September but the number does not reflect the mounting numbers of long-term unemployed who are no longer actively looking for work.
The Labor Department reported Friday that 114,000 jobs were added last month, just a tick below predictions of 115,000 jobs and unemployment dipped to 7.8 percent — the lowest figure in years.
While the report could provide some good news for the Obama administration, which faces voter anger over the nation’s poor economy, it does not ease the public’s overall uneasiness over prospects for the future. Polls show most Americans feel their economic future is dim.
“The numbers are somewhat skewed because more and more Americans have given up hope of finding jobs,” economist Roger Atkins told Capitol Hill Blue. “The Labor Department is, no doubt, looking for some good news to give to the President.”
The Labor Department Friday also revised its August jobs number from the previously reported 96,000 upward to 142,000 and changed the July numbers from 141,000 jobs to 181,000.
“Interesting timing,” Atkins noted.