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Gallup: Unemployment Rate Now Down to 7.3 Percent

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- There's an October surprise in the making that's out of the hands of either President Obama or GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

A report by Gallup tracking the nation's hiring finds that the unemployment rate has dropped to 7.3 percent in mid-October, or 7.7 percent when seasonally adjusted.

Either way, it seems to give more credence to the September report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which said that the jobless rate dipped to 7.8 percent that month from 8.2 percent in August.

This could bode well for the Obama campaign -- if the trend continues -- since October's unemployment numbers will be out just four days before Election Day.

Then again, the percentage of part-time workers who would rather work full time was 8.6 percent in September and climbed to 9.0 percent so far this month.

Furthermore, the Romney campaign can point to the fact that just 59 percent of the population has a job, compared to 63 percent in late 2007, with millions having given up looking for work.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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