That's the September numbers, and 7.8 is the lowest rate since August 2009. There's goes Romney's favorite talking point — that the unemployment rate has been above 8% under Obama's leadership.
It also answers the "right direction-wrong direction" question.
Decreases in the jobless rate are not always good news — the figure sometimes falls when discouraged Americans drop out of the workforce altogether — but that's the case with the new data. The employment-to-population ratio went up, job creation went up, and the labor force went up.
In other words, the drop in the unemployment rate is heartening, not discouraging.
There's more good news within the monthly jobs report released today:
– Labor force grows. The labor force grew by 418,000 people, so the drop in the unemployment rate was not due to people giving up on looking for work.
– Revisions shows stronger summer job growth. The number of jobs created in both July and August were revised up, adding a total of 86,000 jobs.
– Public sector finally stopped shedding jobs. State, local, and federal government finally ended a long period of job contraction, adding 10,000 jobs. Revisions show that the public sector created jobs in both July and August.
– Average hourly earnings rise. Earnings rose 7 cents to $23.58. Average hourly earnings have risen by 1.8 percent over the last year.
Believe or not, some conservatives are arguing that the numbers are fake and rigged.