National Unemployment Drops Below 8 Percent

State employment figures are not yet obtainable for September, but Pennsylvania jobs have been equal to or below national figures for 70 successive months.

A new jobs report released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics illustrates that the national unemployment average declined below 8 percent for the first time in 44-months, settling at 7.8 percent.

According to the report, non-farm employment went up by 114,000 jobs. Of those jobs, 10,000 came from public sector. The bureau also settled the July and August jobs numbers by an additional 86,000.

The employment news was welcomed with cautious cheerfulness by an Obama administration that is keen to change the conversation from the President’s widely panned performance at a debate against Republican nominee Mitt Romney.

“While there is more work that remains to be done,” blogged Alan Krueger, chairman of President Obama’s council of economic advisers, “today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression.”

Romney recognized the fall in unemployment at a rally in Abingdon, Va., Yahoo News reports, but stressed out that the recovery is taking too long. He also pointed out the numbers don’t indicate the number of people who have just stopped seeking work.

It’s too quick to make out exactly how Pennsylvania employment matches to the national figures as the state report for September won’t be announced until October 18. On the other hand, as Department of Labor and Industry spokesperson Christopher Manlove indicates, Pennsylvania has stayed equal to or below the national average for the past 70 successive months.

According to Manlove, Pennsylvania has an old and established financial system with different industries. He says, “We don’t rely on just a few sectors to thrive, like Florida and California with housing or Michigan and the auto industry.”

One more cause for Pennsylvania’s slightly stronger presentation in the job market is the more conventional hiring practices in the state, said Lori Hourigan, a vice president with Robert Half International, a staffing services company with offices in Philadelphia.

The state as a whole tends not to over hire,” said Hourigan. “A lot of other places tend to overstaff when times are good. Pennsylvania was hurt just like everyone else when the recession hit, but there was not as much to cut as those other states.”

In the suburban Philadelphia area, Hourigan said that the job growth has been particularly powerful in the healthcare, finance and technology industries. Center City hospital systems have extended into surrounding communities, such as Einstein Medical Center’s recently opened branch on Germantown Pike in East Norriton. These growths have created more chances for nurses and doctors looking to get of the nursing homes and into a hospital setting, Hourigan said.

In the economic sector, there are not as many college graduates specializing in accounting and finance. At the same time more people are giving up work from that industry, creating a big demand.

With winter advancing, Hourigan expects more gains in seasonal employment as part-time and stay at home workers look to

With winter approaching, Hourigan predicts more gains in seasonal employment as part-time and stay at home workers need to increase their income.

“They want to go back and make some extra money so they can have an enjoyable holiday,” Hourigan said.