U.S. jobless rate unexpectedly falls to 7.8%; 114,000 jobs added
Posted: October 5, 2012 at 7:37 a.m.
The unemployment rate in the U.S. unexpectedly fell to 7.8 percent in September, the lowest since January 2009 as employers took on more part-time workers.
The economy added 114,000 workers last month after a revised 142,000 gain in August that was more than initially estimated, Labor Department figures showed Friday in Washington.
The median estimate of 92 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for an advance of 115,000. The jobless rate dropped from 8.1 percent, and hourly earnings climbed more than forecast.
Improving employment prospects that lead to stronger wage growth provide workers with the wherewithal to boost their spending, helping cushion the economy from a global slowdown. Today’s employment report is the penultimate before the November elections as President Barack Obama and challenger Mitt Romney debate whose policies would best spur job growth.
“The labor market is slowly regaining footing,” Eric Green, global head of rates and foreign-exchange research at TD Securities Inc. in New York, said before the report. “The Federal Reserve wants to see traction, faster growth.”
The unemployment rate, derived from a survey of households, was forecast to rise to 8.2 percent, according to the survey median. Estimates ranged from 8 percent to 8.3 percent.
Read more in tomorrow's Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.