President Barack Obama
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Analysts had predicted a small rise in unemployment

The US unemployment rate fell last month to its lowest rate since January 2009, figures from the Department of Labor have shown.

Last month's rate came in at 7.8%, down from 8.1% in August. The figures surprised analysts, who had been expecting a small rise.

The presidential candidates sparred over the data, which is seen as a key issue for November's elections.

Mark Mardell reports.

  • 05 Oct 2012