Unemployment Rate Falls To 7.8 Percent, Ending Another Republican Talking Point

There goes one more Republican talking point against President Obama. Just as Mitt Romney and Republicans can no longer say there are fewer jobs now compared to when Obama took office, they also cannot say the unemployment rate has been above 8% for (x) months. That’s because today the Labor Department released September’s job numbers and the unemployment rate fell to 7.8% from 8.1% in August. It’s the lowest unemployment rate in 44 months, equaling the unemployment rate when President Obama took office. Note that the unemployment rate peaked at 10% later in 2009, so the economy has shown steady improvement for three years.

The U.S. economy added 114,000 jobs, and most notably, government jobs actually increased last month for a change. The breakdown is 104,000 private sector jobs created and 10,000 public sector jobs created. Also positive is an upward revision of the previous two months with 86,000 more jobs created in July and August than previously reported.

Without fail, we get the naysayers who will find any reason to be against positive economic numbers. This time it’s Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric. He tweeted:


The problem with suggesting that the numbers are manipulated is that the Labor Department numbers are the same numbers that Mitt Romney and Republicans use when they attack President Obama on the economy. You can’t have it both ways. You can’t use the numbers, when they are bad, to attack the president, and then turn around and say the numbers are cooked when they favor the president.

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#General Electric#Jack Welch#job creation#jobs#Labor Department#Mitt Romney#President Obama#private sector#public sector#Republican#unemployment

  • Your post mentions Jack Welch and it so happens that I had looked a little closer at the man who has cast doubt on the improving job markets.

    GE Chief Executive Officer, Jack Welch was once nicknamed “Neutron Jack” because, like the Neutron Bomb, he left factories standing but decimated the workers.
    In his book, Jack: Straight From The Gut, Welch states that GE had 411,000 employees at the end of 1980, and 299,000 at the end of 1985.

    Writer John Summa gives this excellent account:

    As GE’s operating profits swelled…, its total workforce in the U.S. was cut by over 100,000, with more layoffs and plant shutdowns to come. GE has a “decidedly consistent policy to drive down labor costs worldwide,” according to Peter Gilmore, director of public relations for the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE), a union representing many of GE’s U.S. workers.

    In addition to transferring jobs to Third World plants owned by the parent company, Gilmore says GE has been cited by Singapore union officials for shifting production from Singapore to Malaysia. There is evidence of “state, regional and international-level whipsawing” by GE, he says.

    Whipsawing refers to the attempt to play one workforce off against another, or others, in order to force greater concessions. Not only is GE shifting production from the U.S. to the Third World, it is also exploiting wage differentials in the Third World itself.

    And it gets worse.One editorial gave this critique of his career at GE:

    Welch has left behind communities across the United States suffering from mass layoffs and disinvestment. While it is hard to get a fix on the number of GE layoffs over the last two decades because of the constant churning of its businesses, GE has dismissed well over 100,000 well-paid workers in the United States. It has undermined union power in the United States by shifting operations to non-union subcontractors. It has practically abandoned its once-strong research-and-development infrastructure. It has compiled a shoddy record of repeat violations of workplace safety rules, defense contractor safeguards, and other public interest regulations, with workers’ lives put at risk and taxpayers bilked as result.

    And that bilking continues today in the Welch tradition. Washington Post in May of 2011 reported this:

    General Electric Co., reported the New York Times last week, earned $14.2 billion in worldwide profits last year, including $5.1 billion in the United States — and paid exactly zero dollars in federal taxes.

    • Thanks for providing the background. It highlights exactly why we should not be giving more tax cuts for “job creators.” The real job creators are the middle class, the average American.

      • The strangest part to me is that, given his background, you’d think that a person like Welch would have preferred not to have called too much attention to himself, that, in his retirement, he would have enjoyed his spoils after screwing the American worker. Instead, he has invited closer scrutiny. I imagine it is related to his ego, After all, he was also proud of enough of his accomplishments to write a book.
        As far as closer scrutiny, we can safely assume that General-Electric owned MSNBC will not be doing much investigating the matter, of course.

        Welch was not alone., However, he is remarkably proud of the fact that he used quite lucrative government defense contracts, awarded under Reagan, to finance the process of shifting his corporation’s labor force to the Third World, where wages were as close to slave labor as possible. .