US joblessness rate slides to 7.8%

<p>US joblessness has decreased to 7.8 per cent, providing electoral fuel for Barack Obama.</p>

US joblessness slipped to 7.8 per cent last month, making this the first time the figure has dropped below eight per cent since president Barack Obama came to power.

According to the Labor Department, the rate declined from 8.1 per cent because the number of people who claim to be gainfully employed rose by 873,000.

This is an encouraging indicator for the world's largest economy, which has been struggling to create enough jobs.

Indeed, Mr Obama's rival for the White House Mitt Romney has put the matter at the centre of his campaign. Therefore, this latest report will do much to buoy the Obama camp.

The Labor department index shows the construction sector added 5,000 jobs in September, while the number of people in government roles climbed by 10,000.

At 16:30 BST, the Dow Jones was higher by 0.4 per cent to an index value of 13636.5 points, while its Wall Street neighbour the Nasdaq gained 0.3 per cent to 3159.3 points.

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