Updated 10/05/2012 06:29 PM
Presidential candidates offer different takes on new job numbers
It seems more Americans are employed and more jobseekers are beating the pavement. That's according to new figures from the labor department. Now, as our Lori Chung reports, experts are weighing in on how the new job outlook will affect the presidential election after a much talked about debate that focused on the economy.
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UNITED STATES -- “We ticked down from 8.1 percent to 7.8," said labor secretary Hilda Solis. "This is the first time since 2009."
The Labor Department is holding up those numbers as proof that there's hope in the job market. New figures show the jobless rate fell to a near four year low, 114,000 jobs added in September and that more Americans are reporting that they've found work.
"This morning, we found out that the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest level since I took office. More Americans entered the workforce. More people are getting jobs," said President Obama, stumping on the campaign trail.
Expectedly, the numbers have becoming a talking point during an election where a lot of focus is on the economy.
"The reason it's come down this year is primarily due to the fact that more and more people have just stopped looking for work," said GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.
After a debate where many analysts and observers declared Republican candidate Mitt Romney the clear winner, state political experts say the report may even out any boost the GOP challenger saw at the polls, which still for now favor Obama.
"Obama still has a lead, in both the beauty contest, the favorability ratings and the electoral college," said Jim Fossett, a senior fellow at the Rockefeller Institute of Government. "Governor Romney really does have to find some way to kick it in the rear."
And labor experts like Dan Moran of Next-Act say that may come by rooting out the details in numbers that dropped because 873,000 more Americans say they're working.
"There's too many variables so you have to say was it a statistical fluke? So maybe we should put the unemployment rate to the side and look at the 114,000, [which is] better, but not good enough," said Moran.
As for impact on Election Day, the September report is one of the last that voters will see before going to the polls. The next report won't be released until four days before the election.