Wall Street Journal (10/06/12) Josh Mitchell; Sara Murray
The U.S. unemployment rate fell sharply in September to its lowest level since January 2009, suggesting that summer job growth was stronger than previously thought, according to data released by the U.S. Department of Labor. The unemployment rate declined to 7.8%, and has now fallen half a percentage point since July, when it was 8.3%.
Employers added a seasonally adjusted 114,000 jobs, while the number of positions added in previous months was revised upward by 86,000. The new figures showed that the nation added 181,000 jobs in July and 142,000 jobs in August, and that third-quarter job growth was far higher than in the spring.
Part of the growth came from a surge in the number of people taking part-time jobs because full-time slots were not available, a trend suggesting that employers continue to be reluctant to expand in the face of threats to the U.S. and global economies, including deteriorating conditions in Europe and the prospect of year-end spending cuts and tax increases in the U.S. The data suggest that a spring slowdown in hiring was short-lived, and that the economy has returned to its recent trend of adding about 150,000 jobs a month, on average.