Good news awaited President Obama this Friday morning : the job market is improving. The Bureau of Labor Statistic’s latest figures were released just as Obama struggles to bounce back after a lackluster performance in the first of three presidential debates, providing him with necessary evidence to support claims his economic policies are working.
A September Labor Department report shows a sharp drop in the unemployment rate, with a jobless rate now at 7.8, the lowest it has been since Obama took office. Figures show a reported 114,000 jobs added in September, bringing the unemployment rate down from 8.1 percent. The Labor Department also revealed more jobs were added in August than originally announced, with the number of new jobs at 142,000 rather than the 96,000 initially stated.
For months it has been widely noted no president since Franklin Delano Roosevelt has won a second term with an employment rate topping 7.25 percent on Election Day. During the Reagan administration, Reagan managed to win a second term despite unemployment peaking at 10.8 percent in November and December of 1982. By the time Election Day came about in 1984, the unemployment rate was down to 7.2 percent, perhaps facilitating Reagan’s win. Momentum and direction can prove to be very pivotal in politics. A positive trend such as this is much more important than absolute figures.
September’s unemployment figures are suggestive of positive affects for the President’s reelection campaign. Also important to note, is the 7.8 percent jobless rate is below the 8 percent mark his team presumed the stimulus would keep the unemployment rate at. The Labor Department’s report numbers could grant Obama a much needed boost as states that permit early voting are already allowing Americans to cast ballots. Media coverage alone may contribute to positive voter feedback on the President’s performance.
One more employment report will be released four days before Election Day on November 2.