In bad news for Mitt Romney but excellent news for the American people, the unemployment rate dropped last month to 7.8% - the first time it has been under 8% (also sadly for the Romney campaign, killing a beloved talking point) in nearly four years. The economy added 114,000 jobs in September according to the employer survey, and more importantly, the Household survey found 873,000 more people reported having jobs than last month's estimate (note that the two are different because (a) it takes time for people to report being employed after the time they are added to payrolls, (b) startups and self-employments are part of the household survey, and (c) lots of jobs were unaccounted for before).
The jobs added numbers for July and August were revised up by a total of 86,000 (with this trend, we may see eventually see last month's numbers revised up as well). Taking it all into account, the economy has now added private sector jobs for the past 31 months, with a total of 5.2 million private sector jobs under President Obama's leadership. Reversing a Republican death grip, the public sector added jobs in the last three months along with the private sector.
Republicans continued to talk down the economy, severing themselves further from reality. Mitt Romney, in his usual fashion, stomped and pounded that this is not a "real" recovery (something about that... we might be in search for the real Romney), no longer able to claim that President Obama has failed to bring unemployment below 8%. Some conservatives freaked out and decided that the good news for thee economy is actually all a conspiracy hatched in Chicago. House GOP leader Eric Cantor whined that it wasn't good enough, conveniently neglecting to mention his and his party's unrelenting effort to screw up the economy so it hurts the President.
While it is more than right to celebrate our president's leadership and the strong jobs numbers, let's realize a few things:
- The Republicans in Congress are still blocking the President's jobs package, which would have added another 2 million jobs over the last year.
- Republican governors and state legislators (along with their pals in Congress) eliminated well over a half million public sector jobs (for teachers, firefighters, cops, and other state services).
But here is what it really means: when we re-elect President Obama next month, we must give him a Congress that will work with him for the American people, instead of rooting for America to fail and actively helping eliminate jobs. When we re-elect the president, we must give him a stronger Democratic Senate and we need to arrest control of the House out of the hands of John Boehner. We do not need a new president - this president needs a new Congress! And we need to elect Democrats up and down the ballot in our states and local races.
It is not enough to re-elect this president, who has pulled us back from the brink of a second Great Depression and put life back into the American economy. He can't do everything alone. He needs our help. We need to have his back, and more importantly, we need to give him a Congress he can work with for all the American people.