Jobless rate drops below 8%

The economic news was so good this morning that a cottage denial industry on the right sprang up just in the last few hours. If you’ve been hanging on by your fingernails for the last several years like me, the end of the crappy job market is nigh. I’ve seen this go down several times now, extended recession, corporations sitting on huge cash reserves, existing employees stretched to their human limit and beyond: it’s not a hard call to make. The election will have to be over, after which Christmas will provide an excuse for companies to delay any big decisions, but after that it will improve, a lot:

Reuters— The Labor Department said on Friday that employers added 114,000 workers to their payrolls last month, a moderate number, but it said a combined 86,000 more jobs were created in the prior two months than it had previously thought. Other aspects of the report also were strong.In particular, a separate survey of households found a big surge in hiring. That pushed the jobless rate down by 0.3 percentage point to its lowest level since January 2009, the month Obama took office. Economists had expected it to rise to 8.2 percent. The drop in the unemployment rate came even as Americans returned to the labor force to resume the hunt for work. The workforce had shrunk in the prior two months.

“There is something in these numbers for everyone. The rise in the participation rate shows somewhat of a real improvement in the labor market,” said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington.


  1. mikeyb says

    Does this really matter? The modern news media is a joke. Its another branch of the entertainment industry. Yes there are real journalists out there, but their influence on politics is pretty much non-existant. Notice how the debate was covered? Was it qualitatively different from the coverage of Michael Jackson or the Kardashians? Romney was more aggressive and Obama looked tired, so Romney won? Hooray! Now we can continue to cover the horserace for a few more weeks and our parent company profits will keep going up. We’ll get a raise. Do you honestly think the Chuck Todd’s of the world give a flying fk who wins the election, or even have a modicum of decency to analyze the actual arguments which were made. All that matters to the media is this will make the horserace go on. I predict the jobs report will be covered to counterbalance to the insanely over the top coverage of Romney’s “gamechanging” debate performance, just to make sure Romney doesn’t get an exaggerated bounce. The modern “media” is entertainment, and it’s goals are no different than other major industries – in this case, the closer the horserace, the better the profits.

  2. Tenebras says

    I wonder what KIND of jobs those new ones are, though. I mean, it’s not enough that just new jobs are being created. Most of the jobs that we’ve lost were well-paying jobs with good benefits and they’re being replaced by minimum wage jobs with no benefits and probably only part-time hours, that even single people with no dependents have a helluva time trying to make ends meet with.

  3. Amphiox says

    In honor of the lunatic Republican conspiracy theorizing, I will hereby suggest one of my own.

    Obama deliberately lost the first debate.

    Why? Because he knew that if he won the debate, Romney would be seen to be a cooked goose, and his SuperPACS will abandon him, and shift their money to other Congressional races.

    Which Obama doesn’t want to happen. He wants as many Democrats in the House and Senate as possible. (Indeed it could be that he is so sick of Republican obstructionism that he would rather not be president if it meant another 4 years of having to deal with a obstructionist Republican dominated Congress – more of this point later).

    So here’s how it went down:

    Obama either already knew, or had a very good inkling of, the fall in the jobless rate, before the first debate. So he goes ahead and loses the debate, knowing that in two days he will have this counter to blunt whatever momentum a debate victory will give to Romney. He loses the debate, re-energizing the Romney campaign just enough so that his various donors stay with him, and continue to sink the majority of their money into him, into a single race, thus reducing the amount of direct cash that would flow against his party in all the down-ticket races.

    Calculating that he can withstand whatever debate-surge Romney might get, helped by the good job numbers he already knows will be coming, he intends to lure the Republicans and their donors, rope-a-dope style, into sinking the majority of their money into Romney, and thereby wasting it. And in one stroke he wins his own race, helps the Democrats win more down-ticket races, hurts the Republicans financially, and discredits the effectiveness of Super PAC money, perhaps discouraging such profligate spending (now proven to be ineffective politically) in the future and thereby blunting the impact of the odious Citizen’s United decision for contests in 2014.

    As a bonus, he either knew or suspected that Romney would come out swinging with lies, and in the debate, by being passive about those lies, lured Romney into doubling down on as many lies as possible, caught on record to a televised audience. Then, afterwards, he and his campaign can nail those lies in detail, and a later time of their choosing, during circumstances in which it would do the most damage to Romney, rather than the individual points being lost in the general din of the debate aftermath in general.

    And finally, and perhaps most deviously of all, is the Xanatos Gambit for the eventuality that the lost debate might cause him to lose the election after all. With Romney on record cleaving centrist in the debate, President Romney will either have to keep those promises and govern centrally (alienating the Tea Party Republican base, and setting the stage for an enemy civil war in the years leading up to 2016), or he will break those promises and alienate the centrist swing voters. With the economy turning around and the clear benefits of the Affordable Care Act (which will not be repealed thanks to a Democratic senate filibuster) becoming apparent by then, history will, by 2016, have thus vindicated his (Obama’s) policies. And this will ensure that Romney becomes a one term president in 2016. And (I am not completely sure of the laws governing this, but even if this can’t be done, his historical legacy is thus assured) Obama is young enough to run again for a non-consecutive second term.

  4. mikeyb says

    Great theory. Obama bluffing Karl Rove Crossroads Inc. in order to get him to go all in on the false hope of a Romney Presidency, only to later result in a more robust congress for a second term.

    Karl Rove, a closet atheist who oddly has spend his entire career promoting theocracy, plus a few other things.

  5. lorn says

    The ‘losing the debate on purpose’ meme is interesting. What struck most of the talking heads as an expression of “confusion and not wanting to be there” looked to me to be more like the expression of a man willingly taking a beating and working hard not to fight back.

    I didn’t take this as a political money rope-a-dope but as giving Romney a chance for his inner bully and pontifical blowhard to come out. Romney is a both wealthy and entitled and he shows, by turns, condescending pity and contempt for people who have less. Americans love an underdog and seeing Obama take a beating with grace gives him credibility. It highlights his patience and toughness.

    The American people are hurting and framing the contest as being between a fast talking blowhard who will bury you under and avalanche of BS like a used car salesman, and a tough, patient guy who talks straight benefits Obama. If this helps get more Democrats in office then so much the better.

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