Romney fan? Obama backer? Whoever wins, let’s hope unemployment dip isn’t a mirage

They don’t look like they hate each other.

A presidential election campaign is full of highs and lows. If you support Pres. Barack Obama, you know what I mean. In the days leading up to last week’s first presidential debate, the Mitt Romney campaign repeatedly shot itself in the foot, what with Romney’s comments about the 47 percent and all.

Then came the debate, and Obama looked terrible. Watching, I wondered if Obama maybe didn’t know there was a debate until he showed up in Denver. The podium he stood behind showed more life.

But then comes today, and things look rosy again for the Obama camp. The latest jobs figures came out, and they actually look pretty good. According to the numbers, the U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September. That drops the national unemployment rate below 8 percent for the first time in about four years. In August, the unemployment rate stood at 8.1 percent.

Why the drop? Analysts said that the number of U.S. residents who said that they were employed jumped by a significant 873,000. That’s a good sign. It means that the number of unemployed residents in the United States now stands at about 12 million, the lowest that number has been since January of 2009.

Of course, the economy is still shaky. Just ask anyone working in commercial real estate. I spoke to brokers across the country leading up to the release of Midwest Real Estate News’ October issue, and they all told me — whether they were doing business in Kansas City, Nebraska, Chicago, Minnesota or Indianapolis — that while commercial real estate activity was on the rise, it still has a long way to go before we reach pre-recession levels.

So no matter who you’re rooting for in these presidential elections — and past surveys of real estate professionals have suggested that more would favor a Romney win — there’s one thing that we all hope for: that the recently released jobs numbers are not just a blip, but that unemployment really is going down.

For if it is, then the commercial real estate brokers across the country might be able to look forward to the return of those pre-recession days yet again.

– Dan Rafter

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