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Unemployment Rate Falls To 7.8 Percent, A 44-Month Low

Analysts and Wall Street types rejoiced today as the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the unemployment rate has dropped below 8 percent for the first time in almost four years and that the economy added 114,000 jobs.

The increase is the smallest in three months but it was enough to lower the unemployment rate from the 8.1-8.3 percent rate it was hovering at for the first eight months of the year.

Now, it’s not all good news. The number of people “working part-time for economic reasons” (a fancy way for the BLS to describe underemployed people who would rather have a full-time job) rose from 8 million in August to 8.6 million in September. And the number of people not working but not counted as unemployed remained steady at 2.5 million–that includes people who dropped out of the workforce for school or family responsibilities, but also includes 802,000 people who just gave up looking for work.

The industries that added the most jobs were healthcare (+44,000), transportation and warehousing (+17,000) and financial activities (+13,000).

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