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Jobs figures may help Obama save his

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From page A4 | October 12, 2012 | 3 Comments

The issue: Unemployment rate falls below the important 8 percent barrier

Just when President Barack Obama was in need of a post-debate boost, the U.S. economy came through for him. The September unemployment rate, considered the most politically significant economic statistic between now and the election, fell to 7.8 percent — where it was when he took office in January 2009.

THAT EFFECTIVELY punctured a key and effective Republican talking point — that in the entire 43 months of Obama’s term the jobless rate had been 8 percent or higher. Indeed, the economy has added jobs for 24 straight months.

The Labor Department said the economy added 114,000 jobs in September, good but not enough to keep up with the potential growth in the workforce. Still, these figures are subject to revision and the most recent revisions are also a break for Obama.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics upped the July figure of 141,000 new jobs created to an impressive addition of 181,000, and job gains in August were revised upward from 96,000 to 142,000. And for the 12 months from March of last year to this one, BLS said 386,000 more jobs were likely created than originally reported.

As the Associated Press noted, there are now officially more jobs in the United States than when Obama took office.

THE GAINS WERE spread across most sectors of the economy, even government, which had been steadily shedding jobs and acting as a drag on employment. In the two years ending last May, federal, state and local government employment fell by more than 1 million jobs. But governments are hiring again, adding 10,000 jobs in September and, according to revised figures, 45,000 jobs in August.

The total number of unemployed fell 456.000 to 12.1 million. Average pay and the average work week also were up slightly. Serious pessimists and the Romney camp can find some gloomy spots in the report: labor force participation is low and there are too many workers who have quit looking altogether or who can only find part-time work.

However, the trajectory clearly indicates a recovery and not only did more than 114,000 people find jobs last month, this report may help Obama keep his job next month.

THE NEXT JOBS REPORT is due out Friday, Nov. 2, four days before the election, but by then the die will have been cast and few minds are likely to be changed by new government statistics.

GOP nominee Mitt Romney carped, “This is not what a real recovery looks like,” but after all we’ve been though, 7.8 percent is not a bad achievement.

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Discussion | 3 comments

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  • FishwrapOctober 12, 2012 - 3:52 pm

    You are trying to convince readers that a 7.8% unemployment rate is "not a bad achievement" after we borrowed over a trillion dollars a year for four years and are so deep in debt there is a real chance the economy might never reach full employment again. I suppose you think a 1.5% GDP rate is an equally good thing and proof that our President's policies are working better than anybody ever expected. I'm not buying it and I'm not buying the Enterprise again either.

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  • ml1999October 13, 2012 - 10:27 am

    The editorial staff of The Enterprise appears to be showing it's colors. Take one or two slivers of truth and try to build a case for a now disasterous presidency. Across the board, economically, things look consistently weak, bad, or dreadful. Our underemployment / unemployed rate is what, 14.5%? We have the lowest labor participation rate since WWII. This year we have slow growth, which was slower than the year before, which was slower than the year before. And we'll have the 4th year of a Trillion+ deficit. In total, Obama will have added over 6 Trillion dollars in debt, a world all-time record. Well, we have exploded the Food Stamp rolls by 14 or 15 Million. The Administration even takes out Spanish language radio ads trying to convince a Latino Father to sign up for food stamps. Whats the problem? The Father has a job, and proudly says that he doesn't need food stamps, he can provide for his family. No, no, the ad exhorted, you qualify, you deserve food stamps. Sign up! (Un der pressure, the Democrats finally pulled the ad.) On top of this, we have two historically mammoth tax increases coming our way. Think that will help our moribund recovery? In addition, the cuts that Obama & Co. promised through reconciliation will further hamper our military. Speaking of the military, how was it that Obama & Co. denied requests for more security in Libya on the 10-year anniversary of 9/11? On top of that, Ms. Rice and his other employees blamed it on a low-quality Youtube video? Then, THEN, Obama and Hillary took out a TV ad in Pakistan blaming the attacks, again, on that video, and apologized for the video! All the while, they knew that it was a terrorist attack!! Conspiracy? The press is ducking this, except for a few true journalists. This is more than schocking. We've also seen Green Pork in the Green Energy sector provide us with little energy relief, while gas prices soar to $5 or $6 a gallon. Reminds me of Jimmy Carter. Why can't we develop our own energy, keep jobs here, keep Billions of dollars here, lessen our dependence on foreign oil, and not enrich our enemies? One of these proven solutions - not Veggie oil or unproven hydrogen - is Natural Gas! Yes, we could produce it here, cut emissions by 50%, and accomplishmultiple goals all at once! Almost makes too much sense. Instead, our President says No to our own oil pipeline, while he says Yes to South American oil. Indeed, he ships Billions to them to help produce it! He cut $761 Billion for Medicare, to spend on ObamaCare, which by itself is a job killer and a bill which will reduce our health care options. Obama might get an A- for spreading the wealth - around the world, but he gets a D- in my book for helping our economy.

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  • JacksonOctober 13, 2012 - 11:02 am

    The Enterprise must think everyone in Davis is liberal and will automatically buy into these views. There are more conservatives and moderates in town than they think and are able to see through the bias of a one-sided column like this. I think it would be in the Enterprise's best interest to maybe try to be a little more fair and balanced in their editorials and news coverage if they want to keep and expand their readership.

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