The statistics of the economic direction are all pointed in the wrong direction to generate such a drop. The economy has been headed into a recession, and all the real events are still pressing the U.S. in that direction.
And yet somehow 830,000 people have magically been found to be employed all along! I smelled this was coming for a week, and anyone with any sense could see this coming, but I have to give them props for trying to make the obvious look real.
I have not seen anyone mention the one factor that goes into these statistics that can produce a seeming inconsistency like this to occur.
And that is the seasonal adjusment factor.
As an example; College classes start toward the end of September, a lot of people, college students, disappear from the job statistics. They are neither counted as unemployed or having dropped out of the job market. They just disappear. Since the number of college students returning to classes with no jobs could skew the unemployed numbers higher, that "surge" is factored into the seasonal adjustment factor.
Other things like a seasonal drop in farm workers and other things which might skew the numbers are all factored in.
Another example; over the next month or so a lot of people will find jobs in retail stores gearing up for the Christmas rush. This are mainly part time and/or temporary jobs that disappear with the end of the Christmas shopping season. So a seasonal factor is taken into account so that it does not appear that employment had an unnatural jump up or down when it ends.
And in calculating the seasonal adjustment factor is where games can be played.
I agree with what many have noted here. I believe it is unlikely that the Bureau of Labor Statistics is gaming numbers to make Obama look good. But, as Patricia has pointed out, we are in the midst of Chicago style politics now. And under the rules of the game as it is played in Chicago, anything is possible.
I find it interesting, for example, that usually when employment numbers come out, there is usually a final adjustment figure released for the previous number. And the way it has been going for months now, is that the final figure for the previous period was always higher unemployment than was initially reported for that period. Now I don't know if that number was released this time, but if it were, there has been no mention of it anywhere in the media that I can find.