I am sure all the math geeks out there are going to love this, the other 99% of posters here are simply going to fall in along party lines. the 7.8% number comes from the U-3 index. I have no idea why this is the one that the media always fixates on, but it is, so it is the number we get. That dropped to to its lowest level since Obama has been in office. This would have been a good sign if it happened in April of 2009, and would have been an OK sign if it had happened in December, but coming a full 44 months into his term it can only be seen as a really small step in the right direction, and something that is long overdue. The problem many people had when the numbers came out was how an increase of 114,000 jobs. which was fewer than were added last month, resulted in a 0.3% change in the numbers. Some people, who are less inclined to dig into the numbers, jumped to the conclusion that somebody fudged the numbers to make Obama look good. Given that the BLS has an unusual tendency to overestimate unemployment and revise it downward over the last 4 years I can see why they might jump that way. I think they are wrong, even though I know it could be done if someone wanted to. The numbers were interesting so I looked at the U-6, which is unemployed and underemployed, as well as marginally attached, stayed the same at 14.7%. That eliminated the idea that a lot of people just gave up in finding a job, but still did not explain the change in the U-3. More digging was obviously required. The civilian participation rate rose 0.1% to 63.6%, which is where it was in 1982, and barely above the 31 year low set last month. The number of unemployed dropped 456,000 from last month, yet only 114,00 got a new job. That means 342,000 left the workforce last month, but the household survey reports that the number of people with jobs rose by 873,000. it was getting harder to dismiss the claims that someone fudged the numbers. It took a while for me to find the answer, mostly because I have never been through the BLS reports that far down before. It was an educational experience, and lots of fun. It turns out that the largest driver of the change in the U-3, and the reason for the household survey report, was a dramatic increase in the part time jobs. It turns out that Obama has finally found a way to get people back to work, give them a part time job.