United States jobless rate falls and is at a 44-month low
By Tia Heidebrecht, Chief Photographer - bio | email
Labor Department's monthly jobs report finds employers added 114,000 jobs.
WASHINGTON, DC (NBC) -
Unemployment has fallen to the lowest level since President Barack Obama took office.
The Labor Department's monthly jobs report finds employers added 114,000 jobs last month and unemployment fell to 7-point-8 percent.
The report says the rate declined because more people found work.
With both sides arguing over the accuracy of Today's new unemployment rate, we thought we'd look into just how the U.S. Department of Labor arrives at that figure each month.
The number of people who found jobs in September was, in fact, historic.
Hampton Pearson, with CNBC said, "We had an increase of 873,000 jobs just in the month of September...that's the biggest one month jump in 30-years."
The way professionals at the Bureau of Labor statistics arrived at that figure is also entrenched in history.
Secretary Hilda Solis with the U.S. Department of Labor said, "They do the best calculations, using the best measurements and tools...we've been using them for the past 70-years...we haven't changed anything."
Which means every month, those professionals are walled off, even from each other to pore over surveys conducted by the Census Bureau of 60-thousand households, 140-thousand businesses where only questions about employment are asked then, the independently calculated numbers are compiled.
John Silvia, the Chief Economist, Wells Fargo, "They're all coming with very different set of numbers and as I understand it...that's one reason they do it is to maintain the integrity of the process"
As for the uptick in these newest numbers, analysts say there's a logical explanation.
"The BLS is telling us that a lot of those jobs..those new jobs...were part time jobs," Pearson said.
"The unemployment rate simply came down because there was an unusual number of part time workers," Silvia said.
The next unemployment report might also stir controversy, it comes out the Friday before election day.
President Obama used Today's positive jobs report to make a case against Mitt Romney.
For a second day, the president criticized Romney's debate claims, saying they represent a shift from his positions throughout the campaign.
President Barack Obama said, "Now every month reminds us that we've still got too many of our friends and neighbors who are looking for work. They're too many middle class families that are still struggling to pay the bills. They were struggling long before the crisis hit. But Today's news certainly is not an excuse to try to talk down the economy to score a few political points. It's a reminder that this country has come too far to turn back now."
Friday, Mitt Romney argued the new jobs numbers don't reflect the real struggles of America's job seekers.
Romney promised better times for middle class workers if he wins the White House.
Republican Mitt Romney, the Presidential Candidate said, "I'll tell you this, when I'm president of the United states when I'm president of the United States that unemployment rate is going to come down not because people are giving up and dropping out of the workforce but because we're creating more jobs. I will create jobs and get America working again!"
Romney begins a long weekend of campaigning in Florida.
With events scheduled into Sunday in the Sunshine State.
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