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Published: Tuesday, 10/9/2012

Good jobs news

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.



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