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US: falling unemployment rate may raise President Obama’s re-election chance

US: falling unemployment rate may raise President Obama’s re-election chance

US Labor Department Friday released a report that says the unemployment rate has declined in four consecutive months to 8.5 percent, lowest in almost three years. 200,000 new jobs were added in December.

“We’re starting to rebound,” US President Barack Obama said. “We’re moving in the right direction”

“This can make a difference for Obama if it persists into the spring,” said Frank Newport, editor-in-chief of the Gallup Poll in Princeton, New Jersey. “It’s the sense of direction in the economy that matters more than the numbers.”

Andrew Kohut, president of the Pew Research Center in Washington, said the economy will have to show sustained improvement to reverse the perception of a public that has watched rebounds peter out several times already.

“We’ve seen green sprouts before,” Kohut said. “It’s going to take more for a public that has had a very bleak outlook to decide things are looking better.”

But While Obama and his aides highlighted the trend of declining unemployment, Republicans latched onto the still-high numbers of Americans out of work.

“One good jobs number doesn’t erase a misery across the country,” Matt Mackowiak, a Republican strategist and president of Potomac Strategy Group LLC in Washington, said in an interview. “No one believes that because the numbers were better than expected, that the economy is in good shape.”

(Bloomberg)