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BREAKING - Unemployment Rate Falls to 7.8%!!!!!!

October 5, 2012, 8:36 a.m. ET WASHINGTON—The U.S. unemployment rate fell to its lowest level in more than 3½ years in September as the economy continued to add jobs, a potential boost for President Barack Obama's campaign to win a second term. The politically important unemployment rate fell to 7.8% last month from 8.1% in August. That was the lowest level since January 2009. U.S. payrolls, obtained in a separate survey of employers, increased by a seasonally adjusted 114,000 jobs last month, the Labor Department said Friday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones Newswires expected a gain of 118,000 in payrolls and an 8.1% jobless rate. Friday's report is the first since the Federal Reserve's decision to commence an ambitious stimulus program—buying $40 billion a month of mortgage-backed securities until the U.S. job market substantially improves. The latest numbers offer some good news with the falling unemployment rate but also suggests that job creation, while steady, remains slower than the Fed would like. The figures are also the next-to-last snapshot of the labor market before the November election. October's employment numbers are due out only four days ahead of the vote—possibly too late to sway many ballots. "The September jobs report will frame the economic debate and could prove critical to the election outcome," Carl Riccadonna, senior U.S. economist at Deutsche Bank, said ahead of Friday's release.

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