The second-to-last jobs report before the election is better than expected, but not all the news is good.
The Labor Department says non-farm employers added 114,000 jobs to their payrolls in September. The unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent, the lowest level in more than three years, as more people returned to the workforce. Economists surveyed by CNNMoney.com expected 110,000 new jobs and an unemployment rate unchanged from last month's 8.1 percent.
But the September jobs number is a considerable drop from August's revised total of 142,000. The July total also was revised upward, meaning employers added 86,000 more jobs in those two months than first reported.
More than half the job gains in September were in health care, transportation and warehousing. But employment in manufacturing declined, and job totals were little changed in construction, trade, hospitality and government.
As for those who aren't working, 40 percent are considered long-term unemployed, meaning they've been without work for 27 weeks or more. The number was down slightly from August.