As of now, I am in control here, in the White House

Unemployment Falls to 7.8 Percent

Back on his heels from a poor performance in Wednesday night’s debate, President Obama today got a dose of good news as the unemployment rate declined from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent.

There are a few things to say about this.

  • Job growth is modest, but it is growth. The rate did not come down because people left the workforce, as has occurred in the past. The 114,000 jobs created are not that many for this economy, but the significant rise in the number of people with part time jobs suggests a slowly improving situation.
  • This will undermine Mitt Romney, whose main case for the presidency is that the Obama economy is a nightmare. Romney’s case that Obama has failed is still correct, but the unemployment rate is closely watched. But exactly how much peoples’ votes will be affected is anyone’s guess. They know the economy has been bad for a long time. Don’t listen to political commentators who think they can tell you how much an economic statistic will affect the race.
  • There is one more job statistic left to go, the Friday before Election Day. It will have an impact. Many undecideds make up their minds in the last few days.
  • And no, I don’t think the books are being cooked. Anything’s possible, but just knowing Washington as I do, this would be a difficult and really unprecedented conspiracy to pull off. And probably more risky than it’s worth.

The polls that will be out next week will take both the debate and the jobs numbers into account. We’ll have a better idea then where things stand.

100 Responses to Unemployment Falls to 7.8 Percent

  1. I disagree with you about the books not being cooked. Time and again these statistics have been revised a few weeks later. Of course, by then the public is no longer paying attention. This is supposed to be the biggest jump in 29 years? Come on. GOVERNMENTAL JOBS are under 5%, yes. And furthermore, Romney is right about the real unemployment numbers.

  2. This is supposedly occurring under the present tax structure.
    So,…if the current tax structure is working as far as job growth is concerned, why dump it ?
    We need to get rid of the uncertainty that is restricting employers from hiring.

  3. Coming from Obama’s Labor Dept, I remain skeptical :( Are the big box stores hiring their seasonal (and temporary) employees in Sept since that’s when the Christmas trees went up in the big box stores. How many were minimum wage ? How many of them are severely underemployed though choose to work many small jobs rather than go on welfare?

    While I’m happy for those who found employment, this is just the way I think now in Obamaland.

  4. Obama has been lying about creating 5M jobs:

    Jan. 2009 – jobs lost: 4.4M
    Total jobs created by Obama: 4.3M
    Net gain created: 100K jobs
    Growth replacement needed: 200K/mo.
    Real Unmployment (U6) – 14.7%

    ***Most jobs lost and created were low-paying

    Just as the govt. tries to hide the real inflation rate by not including food and energy in the core inflation rate, they are also hiding the real unemployment rate – those who are underemployed and the permanently unemployed. Counted among the part-time workers are those who work an hour a month! IAlso not counted as unemployed are those workers who have lost a job and go immediately to collecting disability – a growing problem. It’s all smoke and mirrors.

  5. The numbers were cooked at 8.1, 8.2%, and the numbers are cooked at 7.8%. Cooked is cooked when the real unemployment rate is around 14 or 15% with 23 million Americans unemployed.

  6. Powerline says the figures don’t make sense, and, as usual, has effective backup for what they print.
    Besides, wasn’t there a lower-case “kerfuffle” 6 weeks ago or so, wherein the Labor Department would be releasing its figures differently – AND disallowing reporters to use their own computers when reporters were accessing information?

  7. Powerline says the figures don’t make sense, and, as usual, has good backup for what they print.
    Besides, wasn’t there a lower-case “kerfuffle” about 6 weeks ago, wherein the Dep’t. of Labor announced it would be releasing stats differently, and also disallowing reporters to use their own computers when trying to collect stats?

  8. “…this would be a difficult and really unprecedented conspiracy to pull off.”

    That statement applies to a lot of things that have happened with this administration the last four years.

  9. We’re not so trusting in anything coming out of an Obama-run Dept of Labor.
    Remembe,r this is the same department that is begging companies that supply our military not to send out legally required lay-off notices prior to the November elections.
    They lied about what went on in Libya for weeks just to keep from hurting MrObama’s re-election quest. They LIED about a terrorist attack on America for nothing more than than to protect the President from citicism.
    If they can lie about a terrorist attack, they’ll lie about anything.

    • Knew they would try something to divert from his disastrous debate performance. The leviathan will do anything to protect their puppet.

    • I was thinking the same thing srdem65. U6 has stayed at 14.7%. This administration blatantly lies about the big stuff all the time. When caught lying, they feign surprise, throw somebody under the bus, or declare someone is racist or desperate.

  10. Ahhh, ain’t it grand watching the unicorns frolic in the blue grass with beautiful rainbows outlining the green sky. Everything is just fine in Obamaville.

  11. i say yay.
    unemployment down. great.
    people working. fine.
    let’s be happy for the people who are now better off.

    while we can say Obama did this or that, that’s not what is important.
    Does anyone really think jobs were created and gained because of the things Obama has put into place?

  12. I’m with James Pethokoukis on this. It’s still a HORRIBLE number, and the drop is very minor. The .3% makes it look better than it is.

    114,000 isn’t enough to keep up with the population growth, let alone to bring down the number.

    Are we doing in the right direction, after ONE month? As a small business owner, we’re floundering here. My cable got turned off today, and my cell bill is late.

  13. The numbers are full of holes, its a lie,and its a survey, they make this crap up, In my business we have so many customers who cant get work ran out of unemployment checks anymore so the Govt doesnt count them, hell if we have a room filled with 100 chairs and then take out 50, and then 50 people showed up the liberal would say its a sell out event, its a lie, Obama is trying to steal the election by juicing the numbers with statistics. The real unemployement number is closer to 11-14% hell if I had 2 million dollars and someone stole one million, Id still be a millionaire, but one million was stolen, Obama is stealing the elction by manipulating statistics. Now look and look at all the govt workers that have been hired over the last 4 years, Democrats had added hundreds of thousands to the payroll such that the unemployment rate for govt workers is 4.4 %, Manipulation all around, keep giving away total dependence in Obama’s Orwellian forward march and we will end up like Europe. God help us!

  14. Let’s agree this is good news. And I want this to be true.
    It’s good for all of us.

    However, can the Obama campaign really point to anything THEY’VE done or anything they have opened up to make this .4% increase happen?

    Let’s be happier even if not all .4% increases are the even.

    • I’ll play along and say it might be good news for 114,000 people — but it’s still bad news for the 330,000 new dropouts from the labor force. With the admin. using speculative household surveys to make the stats more favorable to them, the “good news” is even more suspect.

      And if this tiny bit of seemingly “good news” manages to pull Barky across the finish line, it will be bad news for the millions who will continue to face a stagnant economy or worse beginning next year. (Can you say Pyrrhic victory?)

  15. The Food Network a/k/a B(L)S Recipe

    How to Cook the Books – October Surprise Menu

    Add (2) months of revised numbers (July/August) simmer over summer when no one is watching the pot.

    Add (1) debate to reduce the flame, stir in September numbers to thicken the p(l)ot.

    Stir pot until November 6th.

    Note: Cooking above your “pay grade” and/or above 5,000 ft. may result in a sour taste in your mouth. The BLS recommends gargling with Obama Mouthwash 3x daily until your taste buds are no longer of use.

    For more recipes on How to “Can” Garbage, Lies & Stats, go to

  16. The Food Network a/k/a B(L)S Recipe

    How to Cook the Books – October Surprise Menu

    Add (2) months of revised numbers (July/August) simmer over summer when no one is watching the pot.

    Add (1) debate to reduce the flame, stir in September numbers to thicken the p(l)ot.

    Stir pot until November 6th.

    Note: Cooking above your “pay grade” and/or above 5,000 ft. may result in a sour taste in your mouth. The BLS recommends gargling with Obama Mouthwash 3x daily until your taste buds are no longer of use.

    For more recipes on How to “Can” Garbage, Lies & Stats go to

  17. All I can say is, if Romney pulls this off he is one of the greatest politicians of all time. Revised fake unemployment numbers, QE-infinity, a media that brings every one of your problems to light and hides everyone of his, polls that over sample democrats by 10-12 points…. The list goes on..

  18. I agree that the books are not being cooked. But that doesn’t mean these numbers are good either. Most of the jobs created in September are either part-time (seasonal hires with the holidays fast approaching) and government employees. The private sector hired very few full time gigs. Romney needs to articulate that fact very clearly and often in the next debate. Also too, data from manufacturing & other sectors was downright depressing. Again, Romney needs to hammer that fact home and speak to the American people directly via the debates and other venures.

  19. The numbers were cooked at 8.1, 8.2%, and the numbers are cooked at 7.8%. Cooked is cooked when the real unemployment rate is around 14 or 15% with 23 million Americans unemployed and underemployed.

  20. On the issue of cooking the books, first this:

    Labor Secretary Hilda Solis was asked on CNBC about suspicions that the Obama administration might have skewed the jobs numbers to aid Obama’s re-election prospects.

    “I’m insulted when I hear that because we have a very professional civil service,” Solis said. “I have the highest regard for our professionals that do the calculations at the (Bureau of Labor Statistics). They are trained economists.”


    The number of employed Americans comes from a government survey of 60,000 households that determines the unemployment rate. The government asks a series of questions, by phone or in person. For example:

    Do you own a business? Did you work for pay? If not, did you provide unpaid work for a family business or farm? (Those who did are considered employed.)

    Afterward, the survey participants are asked whether they had a job and, if so, whether it was full or part time. The government’s definition of unemployed is someone who’s out of work and has actively looked for a job in the past four weeks.

    The government also does a second survey of roughly 140,000 businesses to determine the number of jobs businesses created or lost.

    Now, THIS from Investor’s Business Daily, July 18, 2012. Look who Oummer nominated for BLS. as far as I can tell, after much push back, her nomination went nowhere. But, it does tell you what kind of people Obummer wants, and probably has, at BLS:

    Obama Puts Far-Left Erica Groshen In Key Labor Post

    Five months ago Barack Obama nominated union backer, liberal economist and Federal Reserve bureaucrat Erica Groshen to lead the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) — the agency best known for calculating the nation’s unemployment rate each month.

    Obviously Groshen’s nomination was yet another sop to organized labor — which doled out big dollars and major manpower to help elect Obama in 2008 (and which has already been rewarded handsomely for its efforts).

    It was also yet another endorsement of the failed Keynesian interventionism that Obama has continued to foist on our private sector ever since he was elected — with disastrous consequences for our nation’s economy.

    But this particular appointment represents much more than just another lifetime left winger being tapped by Obama to fill a lofty taxpayer-funded perch. For starters, Groshen’s background is more explicitly linked to overt anti-American ideologies than any Obama appointee since his infamous “green jobs czar” Van Jones.

    Such radical ideological moorings are cause for real concern given that Groshen is being asked to preside over an agency where the inviolability of hard, methodologically obtained data — not the specter of ideological influence — is vital to maintaining institutional neutrality and credibility.
    In fact public confidence in BLS methodology and impartiality is much more essential than that — as this agency’s unemployment and job growth data consistently drive global financial markets and move public opinion like no other economic indicators.

    Moreover, Groshen is being asked to lead this agency at a time when its data are being compared and contrasted not only with more credible alternative measures of labor utilization but also prior unemployment promises from the Obama administration.

    Every statistic counts — but we also must be able to count on the veracity of every statistic (particularly those that come stamped with the imprimatur of officialdom).

    In other words, this is the absolute worst possible time to nominate a BLS commissioner with suspect associations — one who could easily be perceived as giving an unfair advantage to certain constituencies regarding the release of this information (or possibly even manipulating the presentation of the data itself to paint a more flattering view of the administration’s job creation efforts).

    One of the most glaring ideological markers in Groshen’s background is her choice to send at least one of her children to Camp Kinderland — a communist-founded institution that used Soviet symbols and sang Soviet anthems during the mid-20th century while urging its members to “vote communist.”

    Camp Kinderland’s own website brags that it, “is true to the vision of its founders,” so it is no surprise that its leftist advocacy continues to this day. The camp mobilized dozens of campers, staff and alumni to participate in the Occupy Wall Street events — which their newsletter referred to as an opportunity for its supporters to “raise their voices and declare the power of the 99%.”

    Of course when it comes to regulating business Groshen has no interest in helping the little man, ironically. She’s overtly hostile to small businesses and believes that the jobs they create are inferior to those created by large corporations.

    “It is clear that something that is good for workers … is happening in large firms,” a 1998 paper coauthored by Groshen concludes. “From this perspective, any public policy advantage awarded to small firms (such as labor or environmental standard exemptions) should provide cause for worry.”

    Groshen’s preferred method of alleviating this “worry”? Heavier regulation of small businesses — which is one of the very last things our economy needs right now.

    Why? Because despite Obama’s unprecedented interventionism America’s real unemployment rate is currently hovering at 11% (assuming a constant labor participation rate over the last four years). That’s considerably higher than the “official” 8.2% rate reported by the BLS (which doesn’t count the millions of people who have given up looking for work over the last three-and-a-half years).

    It’s also twice the 5.6% rate that Obama’s economists projected for this point in time when they were clamoring for passage of the “stimulus” bill in February 2009.

    Statistics matter — and right now the BLS needs to cling to every bit of its credibility when it releases them. Confirming Erica Groshen would be a sure-fire way to substantially erode the public’s confidence that the data released by the agency are not ideologically skewed.

    The Senate should reject Groshen’s nomination and call on Obama to submit a choice more compatible with the objective role of this agency.

    More here:

    • Thanks for the great info. If you read to the end of the summer camp article, you’ll see she is opposed to small businesses because workers deserve better which explains this administrations hostility to main street, community banking etc.

  21. this might sway some undecided voters with an ounce of intelligence. they should ask how does this make sense:
    1. Only 114K hired.
    2. BLS is not counting those who dropped out.
    3. Has o buma lied in the past?

  22. Yep. Bring on the Blues Brothers hiding behind their shades. BHO’s team routinely channel the Daley’s in their approach to politics. I hope R & R will take page from Newt Gingrich, get some vinegar in their vim. Kinda’ thought this one might come down to a dogfight.

      • Keith, you are not far off. I’ve downloaded about 10 spreadsheets from the BLS and somewhere I saw over 500K part time jobs were created in September. How many people have been hired, full or part time, for the two campaigns? I haven’t spent the time yet on the sheets, but something that stood out was the % of people working between 16 and 65 only went up .1 last month and is still what a statistician would consider normal variation type movement.

        In the end, it won’t matter. 90% of the media will just report the 7.8% number and claim Obamanomics is working, we will keep printing money, and one day we will find out what Argentina and Germany found out when a government just prints money. It is kind of like one of those dwarf stars that expand out right before it collapses in on itself.

    • It’s been in since dumbo raised his hand in Jan 09!
      He needs to look at the big picture if he doesn’t win he gets a $35 million Hawaiian home free and everything else he MO and the little wons want for life and he can play with JZ and all his cool friends after
      all they’re bought and paid for! Or maybe they won’t be his best friends
      anymore and he’ll jut have to golf and hide from MO?

  23. Maybe cooked is the wrong word–how about the rules being changed? I heard they were trying to be more inclusive–include black market workers, which I guess would be the freelance landscapers who come by here, or the Breaking Bad set in their home meth businesses with a crew that now has “work,” or escorts and so on.

  24. Well, as did many others, I predicted a sub seven rate by this fall. Also, last month when it fell from 8.3 to 8.1%, I immediately predicted a rate of 7.9% even though all economists and talking head predictions called for the rate staying the same or ticking up slightly to 8.2%. This was O’s plan all along.

    I think it’s time for Romney to throw that line back in Obummer’s face – about the “math, it’s just arithmetic, the numbers don’t add up.”

    The BHO administration is counting on a majority of voters to be dumb, and low information, only hearing the sound bite that “unemployment number came down to 7.8%”.

    Most of us here have a tendency to spend time on conservative logs and sites, or articles linked by Drudge, but sometimes it’s informative to glance through the comments at a top Yahoo article. I’ve been refreshing the page and checking out comments at this one all day, and it’s now up to almost 30,000 comments:

    These people ALL know the real deal because they are living in this miserable Obummer recession, as are their family, friends, and neighbors. I really do think people are ready to evict the loser O.

      • Good point, Sadie. I think the general tone is that people are just fed up with this loser and his empty teleprompter speeches.

        Also, for the first time, I think we’re seeing a general suspicion of BLS’s numbers (Drudge’s headlines are helping). Perhaps this will be the last straw. People are tired, angry, fed up, and now to KNOW that BHO is trying to fool them is ticking them the hell off. Pray that they take that anger to the polls!

  25. Don’t buy it, Keith. My husband lost his job today and my friend will lose hers next week. That’s the reality of life outside of Washington and environs.

    • Oh damn it, so sorry to hear that gobnait. We’ve been there as well, beginning on just the second day of BHO’s administration. The last four years have been a hell of a roller coaster ride, as my husband is in one of the major industries targeted by this loser Obummer. Gobnait, be hopeful at least that it will be short lived for your family, as President Romney will help turn things around soon.

      • Thank you both for your kind words. My husband is in his late sixties so we hold little hope that he’ll find another job. The tough thing is that I’m disabled and can’t work and our recent college grad daughter can’t even get an interview let alone a job. Hubby was working to give us all medical benefits at least until she found a job. My friend is a victim of the Bank of America layoffs. She’s a single woman also in her sixties and doesn’t expect to be able to find another job. It’s all so scary and the thought of four more years of the Job-Killer-in-Chief is just more than I can bear.

  26. The unemployment rate has been above 8% for 44 months. Do I think this sudden drop is suspicious? Yes. Then we have the total number of workers employed increase 873,000, the highest one-month jump in 29 years.

    Obama is not believable, he lied about Benghazi and he will lie about anything else to save his job. People know this economy is bad, they feel it every time they gas up their cars or buy groceries.

  27. In a prior life I worked in the accounting department (well, I was the accounting department) of a small computer manufacturing company. It was my job to fill out those stupid statistical reports. They are long, tedious, and confusing. I never had any idea if I was doing them correctly, but off they went to BLS. Just saying.

  28. All due respect Keith, we know they think we’re stupid. But you? Really the books are not being cooked. After years in WDC and now with this positively corrupt Administration at the helm “a difficult and unprecedented conspiracy” is a walk in the park for these guys. This is where Valerie Jarrett lives.

  29. Okay, this is weird. I was typing a reply, and when I hit the return button, everything disappeared and the site went to the main page. I’m not even going to try and retype everything, so all I will say is look for a lot of October surprises.

    Everything from unemployment to Iran suddenly backing off on their nuke program to China and its trade policies, etc. The next 30 days are going to make your head spin. Back channel deals are being done right now with people that have wanted to destroy this country for years, deals to play nice and wait for Obama to be reelected. The “undecided” will swing towards Obama if any or all of the deals are done. It will make him look presidential, and Romney will be forced to play catch up again.

    Romney needs to hit foreign policy hard and not let up. If deals are done, he needs to ask why they are now only being done days before the election. HIT, HIT AND HIT Mitt!

    • Shofar. I don’t doubt your list for a moment. In fact, expect anything and everything. There is no way they’re going “gently into the good night”.

    • Shofar, my head started spinning after reading this:

      October Surprise: Obama secret Iran deal cut:

      …..”The negotiation was an extension of secret negotiations begun in early January when, according to Iranian officials and a report by Fars News Agency, Obama requested collaboration with the Islamic regime through three different channels. The channels were a letter to the supreme leader, a message to the Iranian U.N. delegate and a direct message through Swiss Ambassador Livia Leu Agosti in Tehran in a meeting with Iranian Foreign Ministry officials, who quoted a message from Obama.”

      “The Obama message said: “I didn’t want to impose sanctions on your central bank, but I had no options but to approve it since a Congress majority had approved the decision.”

      READ MORE:

  30. But Keith, have you factored in the impact of U6 numbers — the combination of unemployed and underemployed? … That moves the unemployment rate up closer to 14%+, I believe ….

    Joe Scarborough is confused by the new jobs numbers

    Economist: Unemployment drop ‘implausible … a statistical quirk’ (from the American Enterprise Institute website)

  31. This really sucks, cooked or raw

    After seeing the debate tho I think Romney can get past this with the facts and the facts about what jobs are being created and what they pay

    btw re: education, I would love to hear Romney ask why spend money for more teachers for jobs that don’t exist?

  32. The unemployment rate has been above 8% for 44 months. Do I think this sudden drop is suspicious? Yes. Then we have the total number of workers employed increase 873,000, the highest one-month jump in 29 years.

    Obama lied about Benghazi and he will lie about anything else to save his job. People know this economy is bad, they feel it every time they gas up their cars or buy groceries.

  33. Anyone else noticing something is wonky with comments today? It tells me there are 26 comments for this post yet when I click to read the comments it says there are 41.

    • About five hours ago I posted a comment and when I hit “Submit”, it disappeared. An hour later, I posted another comment and the same thing happened. This post was stuck on 22 comments (for me) all day until just a few minutes ago. I kept refreshing, even closed my browser and came back. Also, the new post Keith did wasn’t showing up right away. Weird.

      Also strange is the fact that WABC radio went out several times today during Rush’s show. It was so weird, all static for twenty minutes on every radio we have, even the car. It came back and then went to static a few more times for several minutes. I called my mother and she had the same problem. That has never happened before.

      Hmm, between this site and WABC, maybe Obummer was testing out his “kill” switch today.