A new federal report concludes that the U.S. economy created 114,000 jobs in September, and 86,000 more jobs in July and August than were previously reported. The national unemployment rate dropped from 8.1 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September.
But 12.1 million Americans are still unemployed. Millions more remain underemployed, and hold jobs below their skill level. Many others have stopped looking for work, pursuing additional education or training, or just giving up the search.
Still, it is hard not to be happy about more Americans going back to work. President Obama's Democrats should feel good. Mitt Romney's Republicans dare not express great unhappiness, even if they would have preferred more evidence of what they consider Mr. Obama's feckless guidance of the economy.
The state of the U.S. economy in the global context presents a more gloomy picture. The unemployment rate in the eurozone hit a new high of 11.4 percent this month.
A storm still rages in Europe over the budget and debt situations in many countries. Red lights continue to flash despite efforts by the European Central Bank to stabilize the situation by promising to buy bonds from shaky countries.
People in Greece and Spain are protesting efforts by their governments to put their fiscal houses in order to qualify for bailouts from the central bank. Germany remains on board with those efforts, but is increasingly resentful. Even China is weaving a little on the economic highway.
Americans should build on this encouraging report about job creation. But jobs remain the key issue in the presidential campaign, and demand more than rhetorical attention from the nominees.