At 7.9%, U.S. jobless rate spells trouble for Trump

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(Reuters) – The U.S. unemployment rate fell to 7.9% in September, from 8.4% in August, a big drop that in normal times would be welcome news for a presidential incumbent seeking reelection in just over a month.

FILE PHOTO: People line up outside Kentucky Career Center prior to its opening to find assistance with their unemployment claims in Frankfort, Kentucky, U.S. June 18, 2020. REUTERS/Bryan Woolston/File Photo

These are not normal times.

As the best-known summary statistic of the labor market, the U.S. unemployment rate is a “a psychologically important number” for voters, said Michael Brown, principal U.S. economist at Visa.

But President Donald Trump’s announcement on Friday that he had tested positive for the novel coronavirus pushes that number into the background: Voters may be “weighing news related to the virus a bit more than the economic data right now,” Brown…

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