Analysts had predicted a small rise in unemployment
5 October 2012 Last updated at 23:08 BST
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.