The U.S. unemployment rate dipped to 5.9 percent and the economy added 248,000 jobs in September, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday morning.
This is the first time the unemployment rate has been below 6 percent since July 2008, as the recession was coming in full swing and as the jobless rate peaked at 10 percent in the following years. Economists were expecting a number closer to 215,000 jobs, so the report is widely considered to be better than expected.
The report comes as last month’s “disappointing” jobs report was given a bit of a silver lining, as those job creation numbers were revised up from 142,000 to 180,000.
In what appears to be a continuous trend, however, the labor force participation rate also decreased slightly. 97,000 Americans left the workforce and the participation rate is now 62.7 percent, down from 62.8 percent last month. In addition, average hourly earnings changed little.
While the unemployment rate is largely not considered a “political” number as it was during the 2012 election cycle, a strong economy could help Democrats as they face the ever-growing possibility of Republicans taking control of the Senate.
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[Note: Mediaite intern Andrew Desiderio is a student at The George Washington University.]
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