Keep jobless rate drop in perspective
Published 11:00 pm Friday, October 5, 2012
Good news came on Friday, as the nation’s jobless rate dropped below 8 percent for the first time in nearly four years.
At 7.8 percent, the unemployment rate is the lowest in 44 months. For economists and analysts, the drop below 8 percent suggested that the economy is gaining some momentum. And that is good news for Main Street, America, where the brunt of the economic downtown has been felt.
Of course, with the better-than-expected job report, political spin will be on full force. The fact that the unemployment rate dipped below 8 percent just a month before the election of course will be spun as proof that President Obama’s policies are working — finally. And his supporters surely will use this spin to try and gain support of undecided voters.
But let’s keep this news in perspective. Even as the unemployment rate dropped, it still remains at 7.8 percent – an exorbitantly high rate for our nation. That means 12.1 million Americans are unemployed and seeking work. And we all know that millions more simply have opted out of the workforce.
Make no mistake, the economic challenges facing our nation continue to demand our attention and action. We’ve endured nearly four years of staggering unemployment. This one jobless report does not equate a successful economic strategy
And we must keep that in mind as we head to the polls in November.