The nation’s employers added 114,000 jobs in September, a modest showing, the
Labor Department reported Friday. But the unemployment rate dropped to 7.8
percent, the lowest since President Obama’s first month in office.
In a positive sign, the job growth for August was revised upward to 142,000 from
the previously reported 96,000.
Coming a month before the presidential election, the jobs report offered
ammunition for both sides as the candidates vie to convince voters that each is
better equipped to steer the economy. Mr. Obama can point to the 24th straight
month of job growth after a severe financial crisis, while Republicans continue
to criticize the glacial pace of the improvement.