Call it progress, which it is, or insignificant, which Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney would like people to believe, but the federal jobs report for September, from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, still is good news no matter how its sliced and diced.
For the first time in 44 months, as the Great Recession was gathering momentum, Americas unemployment rate is under 8 percent, at 7.8. There were 114,000 new jobs created, and 873,000 people were added to the list of those employed.
Yes, there are pockets of unemployment that are much worse, North Carolina being one, with a 9.7 percent rate. And yes, the numbers as released may be subject to later revision by standard methodologies.
But good news on the employment front is a sign that the nation is continuing to pull out of the slump, and that news has additional positive effects (and not just on President Obamas re-election campaign, though it should help). Employers see such a figure and gain more confidence, perhaps adding some jobs. Those who are frustrated and tempted to quit looking for work might have second thoughts about giving up. Its hope, and in recovery from a severe economic crisis that took shape in the Bush administration, hope is important.
In addition, there have been further positive developments on the housing front, and the approaching holiday season finds retailers more optimistic. The Dow Jones Industrial Average, though volatile, is up, and so is the gross domestic product, a measure of goods and services produced in the country.
Rather than putting down the news, Romney should be cheering it. That he would not be almost calls to mind his infamous 47 percent gaffe, in which he displayed a cynicism not heretofore seen in him. (He has since, in effect, taken that one back.)
Ah, well, its still good news, in or out of the context of a presidential campaign.