U.S. unemployment below 8 pct, first time since 2009
WASHINGTON – The U.S. unemployment rate dropped below 8 percent for the first time since the month President Barack Obama took office, a surprising lift for both the economy and his re-election hopes in the final weeks of the campaign.
The rate, the most-watched measure of the country’s economic health, tumbled to 7.8 percent in September from 8.1 percent in August. The government survey of households found that 873,000 more people had jobs, the biggest jump since January 2003. The government’s other monthly survey, of employers, showed they added 114,000 jobs in September, but it also showed job growth in July and August was stronger than first thought.
Obama said Friday that the report showed the country “has come too far to turn back now.”
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