An OK Jobs Report

The labor market added 171K jobs, more than September’s 148K, but unemployment is up to 7.9% (from 7.8%) as more workers enter the market. Draw your own conclusion about the impact of that on the election in the comments.

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77 replies
  1. 1
    Schlemizel says:

    I’m sure those numbers are faked in order to help Obama win re-election! Unless they are evidence that the economy is not getting better in which case they prove you should vote for Rmoney.

    – the preceding message has been brought to you by your librule media

  2. 2
    Hunter Gathers says:

    Doesn’t matter. Like anyone’s going to hear about between now and Tuesday. What people should be preparing for is the onslaught of ‘Voter Fraud!’ charges that will emanate from Wingnut Central and their MSM enablers (especially those who think Nate Silver is an effeminate, hyper-partisan poopyhead) right after the polls close on the West Coast and the election is called for Obama. Their combined conniption fit is going to be epic.

  3. 3
    cmorenc says:

    IMHO the effect is a “push”, because:
    1) the 0.1 tick up is still shy of the symbolically useful (to Romney) 8.something figure;
    2) its impact is highly diluted by the immense residual news impact of Hurricane Sandy;
    3) it’s offset by an equally modest up-tick in job creation numbers;

    In short, the final unemployment/jobs report before the election doesn’t add any significant amount of fuel to either Obama’s or Romney’s thematic case on the economy.

  4. 4
    GregB says:

    Every single shitheel on the right that was decrying the alleged phony statistics from the BLS will be crowing the .01% uptick as gospel.

    A nation can’t really go on for long with one certifiably insane political party that is unable to get checked on their insanity by the media.

  5. 5
    Napoleon says:

    I think the story of how well Chrysler is doing which is running today certainly could help Obama.

  6. 6
    IM says:

    No president has ever elected with over 7.8% unemployment. So Obama just has to lose.

    Bookmark it, libs!

  7. 7
    Some Guy says:

    Actually that is a good number, not just an OK one. 150K is often marked as a floor for good job growth. With the additional new people in the work force the UE rate moved up a hair, so expect all kinds of blather from the right about how we are falling back into recession. That half a million more people are in the market is a healthy sign, even it does make the overall UE rate move up a hair.

    Oh, and of course we need to investigate the Bureau of Labor Statistics for Socialists. It has labor in its name, for gawd’s sake.

  8. 8
    Mark B. says:

    Decent numbers, but not spectacular enough to grab anyone’s attention. Not bad enough for Romney to exploit, not good enough to cause the Obama campaign to distract from the excellent job the federal government has done in the Sandy response.

  9. 9
    arguingwithsignposts says:

    HORSERACE! Too close to call!

  10. 10
    comrade scott's agenda of rage says:

    Butbutbutbut, if Rmoney was Preznit, that would have been 1.71 *million* jobs added.

    If there’s any Rmoney comment on this over the weekend, it’ll be “if I were in charge, it woulda been better”. Except he’ll leave out the last part of that sentence “…in China”.

  11. 11
    dedc79 says:

    The August and September numbers got revised up significantly, too

  12. 12
    Higgs Boson's Mate says:

    Little to no effect. The RWNM will bloviate about the uptick as if the people who listen to it haven’t made up their tiny minds about Obama months ago. The punditry will likely give it some airing just to maintain the horse race narrative.

    And, Chuck Todd will use the number to make an ass of himself, again.

  13. 13
    RP says:

    Not sure why you’re downplaying the #. In real terms it’s a very good (albeit, not great) number. But in political terms, this is big news. Not because it’s so great for Obama, but because it was probably Romney’s last chance to shift the narrative. No one is going to care about 7.9 instead of 7.8 unemployment — it’s still under 8. And it will be very difficult to spin the total number of jobs as bad news.

  14. 14
    Elizabelle says:

    Romney already has the innumerate and the faith-based.

    I hope people are thinking “let’s see what the economy can do without the drag of insane Republicans holding our country hostage.”

    Wingnuts are not wings.

  15. 15
    General Stuck says:

    The wingnuts will find a way to go apeshit on the Obama epic fail flogging . That judging from their recent and past assessment, is something along the lines of a cross between Neville Chamberlain, Al Capone, and the slippery Roadrunner.

  16. 16
    rlrr says:

    Romney must be toast. I just saw an ad for the Mormon Church stating that the Mormons don’t endorse a political party…

  17. 17
    Rathskeller says:

    I like that there’s a little bit of apparent momentum in the numbers. Fox headlined the story as OCTOBER JOBLESS RATE UP TO 7.9 PERCENT, so that’s probably what the zombies will take as their script for the remaining days.

    I don’t see it making any difference at this point. Folks are locked in. Either you blame Obama because the economy isn’t strong, or you don’t. There are folks being quoted on NPR who have made me want to drive off the side of the road.

  18. 18
    General Stuck says:

    Oh, and look for Cillizza and WAPO to put California back in play as a toss up.

  19. 19
    GregB says:

    Col. Lang over at Sic Semper Tyrannis has endorsed President Obama.

  20. 20


    The August and September numbers got revised up significantly, too

    And that’s a big part of the story. Once you include the revisions to August and September, we’re talking a total of +255,000 over the numbers we had a month ago.

    That’s damned good.

  21. 21
    Raven says:

    @GregB: He doesn’t cotton to draft dodgers.

  22. 22
    Dave says:

    You can’t spin a number under 8. Add that to the federal response to Sandy and the number of jobs created…consumer confidence is at a 56-month high and manufacturing grew again.

    There is too much tangible evidence of the economy growing. A .1 increase in the rough unemployment rate can’t counter that.

  23. 23
    Alex S. says:

    I had forgotten that the unemployment rate was at 7,8%…I actually thought it was 7,9%. I guess that as long as it’s still under 8% it doesn’t matter. Economically the entry of more people into the job market is very good news, of course. I am a little surprised about the resilience of the economy.

  24. 24
    IM says:


    And that will bring Oabma Virginia!

    (Just joking – it is almost over thank god)

  25. 25
    Mike in NC says:

    Huge Impact = ZZZZZZ

  26. 26
    hep kitty says:

    Still under 8%, that magic number the “conservs” keep harping about. Eat it and like it, teabaggers.

  27. 27
    TexasMango says:

    Yeah! I will be participating in a call with the President this morning. My boss is letting me come into work late to participate. I’m so excited!

    My guess is the number of jobs is more important than the rate as long as it stayed under 8%, but no big deal either way. I don’t think anything can save Willard now.

  28. 28
    IM says:

    A important metric has been passed:

    The last land mine is defused

    The last remaining political land mine embedded in Barack Obama’s path to reelection has failed to detonate.

    With time fast runing out, the Bureau of Labor Statistics this morning released the last monthly jobs report we’ll see in this election. The news was unexpectedly decent: 171,000 nonfarm jobs added in October, and unemployment essentially unchanged at 7.9 percent.

  29. 29
    Alex S. says:

    By the way, the one thing I am most tired of hearing/reading about this election, is how the race has tightened. It’s always getting tighter, tighter, tighter. With this jobs report I can already see the headlines like, ‘unemployment rate rises, race gets even tighter’ etc…

  30. 30
    JayJohnstone says:

    @low-tech cyclist:

    I total agree that +255,000 (including revisions) is huge.

    That would be more than 12M added jobs over 4 years.

  31. 31
    Paul says:

    As Mark Halperin loves to say whenever there is good news for Obama: “This is excellent news for John McCain!”

  32. 32
    Crashman says:

    So, I’m seeing a lot of republicans in various comment sections across the internet talking about how Dem early voting turnout is way down, almost even with republican turnout. What’s the spin here?

  33. 33
    jibeaux says:

    @General Stuck: to be fair, that would be great news for Romney if California were a tossup so there’s a good argument to made there that it is.

  34. 34
    rlrr says:


    Any bets on whether Fox “News” will compare this number with the net number of jobs created during the Bush Administration?

  35. 35
    Ira-NY says:

    IM @ 6

    That is not true. FDR was re-elected in 1936 with unemployment at 16.9% and in 1940 with unemployment at 14.6%.

  36. 36
    Valdivia says:


    see Cohn at Electionate at TNR about the national numbers being useless because a lot of red states have early voting, better to look at state by state. While they are doing better than in 08, they are not even close to the Obama operation.

  37. 37
    TexasMango says:

    @Crashman: No spin. They are just lying. Democratic early voting is up almost everywhere. In the places where it’s even, that’s still an improvement over previous elections. For example they are even in absentee ballots in Florida which is an improvement for Democrats who normally lag Republicans badly. The early and absentee voting looks damn good.

  38. 38
    IM says:


    As far as I understand the conventional wisdom is: No president since the second world war has been elected with unemployment higher then 7.8%. Take this CW for all it is worth.

    And Obama has never said malefactors of great wealth either. So there.

  39. 39
    Crashman says:

    @Valdivia: Thanks, this is helpful, although the comments I read (I think) said Romney was tied or ahead in early voting in VA and Nevada.

  40. 40
    mai naem says:

    Ugh, I’m disappointed. I didn’t want to give the Repubs to be able to say it went UPPPPP…It went UPPPPPP…. which is what they’ll do. I wish it had at least stayed at 7.8.

  41. 41
    General Stuck says:

    Everything you have heard from republicans on Benghazi was predictable bullshit. Hoocoodanode.

    The account given by the senior officials, who did not want to be identified, provided the most detailed description to date of the C.I.A.’s role in Benghazi, a covert presence that appears to have been much more significant than publicly disclosed.

    As I and others predicted, the main reason for the all the differing accounts of what happened were most likely due to the CIA being heavily involved in the so called consulate operation, that sounds like more of a CIA front. Those guys are not in the business of giving accurate public statements on what they do.

    And puts the lie to the notion that no help came, cause the swarthy Kenyan Prez was fiddling while Benghazi burned. It was a lot more CIA guys doing the fighting than were known, and likely why only 4 people died, when it could have been all of them.

    Within 25 minutes of being alerted to the attack against the diplomatic mission, half a dozen C.I.A. officers raced there from their base about a mile away, enlisting the help of a handful of Libyan militia fighters as they went. Arriving at the mission about 25 minutes after that, the C.I.A. officers joined State Department security agents in a futile search through heavy smoke and enemy fire for Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens before evacuating the mission’s personnel to the apparent safety of their base, which American officials have called an annex to the mission. Mr. Stevens was one of four Americans killed in the attack.

  42. 42
    handsmile says:

    With the upward revision of 84,000 jobs to the August and September jobs reports, the economy has created an average of 173,000 jobs a month since July. That is a very good trendline.

    All three data sources (payrolls, revisions, and household survey) that comprise the BLS report are distinctly positive.

    And 171,000 jobs is 30-50K higher than the pre-release estimates.

    As noted by several above, the 0.1% unemployment uptick is due to an increase in labor force participation, itself an optimistic sign.

    Altogether this is very solid jobs report for the US economy and the Obama campaign.

    And as such will be downplayed or trivialized by the corporate media. The current headline at Kaplan Test Prep Daily: ” US unemployment ticks up to 7.9% in Oct.”

    Of course, had the rate increased to 8% or over, that same media would have considered it monumental enough for Obama to issue a statement conceding the election.

    ETA: Of course without Jack Welch to explain it all to them, the cable bobbleheads do seem a little uncertain at the moment how this report benefits RMoney.

  43. 43
    Mouse Tolliver says:

    Just heard hourly pay went down a notch, but hours worked stayed the same. Of course we all know this is Obama’s fault — rather than the Job Creator’s who are making their employees work for less money.

  44. 44
    Davis X. Machina says:

    The economy is like a bath-tub with the tap open (private-sector employment) and the plug pulled out (public-sector employment).

    The net will ping-pong around for aeons before the tub actually fills up. Eventually a generally improving economy will help cities and towns and states via revenue increases put the plug back in the tub. Eventually. Too many state houses in the wrong hands for much short-term improvement.

  45. 45
    sherparick says:

    @low-tech cyclist: The upward revisions of jobs for August and September and the increase in the population participation rate (the reason the U-6 rate ticked up to 7.9% even though number of jobs is up quite bit) is all good news. It reflects that housing finally hit bottom this summer and new home construction, both multi-family and single, is now contributing to economic growth and not subtracting. And the improvement in housing has led to improvement in other areas as has stopped the bleeding in state and local Government as tax revenues have stabilized and started to creep up.


    Overall a good week for Obama, which of course Faux will label it as terrible and MSM (desperate to keep the eyeballs on their screens) will still say “toss-up.”

  46. 46
    General Stuck says:

    And more from the Post

    The CIA is said to have been the dominant U.S. presence in Benghazi, where it had a “symbiotic” relationship with the State Department consulate that served as cover for its staff. “The State Department believed it had a formal agreement with the CIA to provide backup security,” the Journal says, “although a congressional investigator said it now appears the CIA didn’t have the same understanding about its security responsibilities.”

    And it looks like the CIA also didn’t quite live up to their secret security agreement with State, at least at first.

    The CIA’s secret role helps explain why security appeared inadequate at the U.S. diplomatic facility. State Department officials believed that responsibility was set to be shouldered in part by CIA personnel in the city through a series of secret agreements that even some officials in Washington didn’t know about.

    A pretty good day debunking the Benghazi bullshit and with a pretty good jobs report. The electoral winds are at our backs, unless it all turns to shit by Tuesday.

  47. 47
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    We could have unemployment at 4% and it wouldn’t change the fact that Obama is a ni*CLANG*.

  48. 48
    Villago Delenda Est says:

    We could have unemployment at 4% and it wouldn’t change the fact that Obama is a ni*CLANG*.

  49. 49
    Violet says:

    I’m not sure this is going to break through much. The national news is All Sandy All The Time and apparently a Nor’easter may be heading their way next week. I think that’s going to dominate the news.

    Outside of that national news, the controversial NYC marathon will get some attention on Sunday and then we’re right into election day. Any extra time on local news shows will be dedicated to actual local news.

    I don’t think this news is going to change anything owe way or the other.

  50. 50
    PreservedKillick says:

    As a standalone report, this is solid. Coupled with the revisions, it’s excellent news for Obama. A bad report might have slowed him down some; this one won’t really be noticed.

    Where it really matters is that those jobs numbers imply that there is real growth in the economy. People will feel that in their gut.

    Plus it’s another news cycle where Romney will be ignored.

  51. 51
    Cacti says:


    Of course, had the rate increased to 8% or over, that same media would have considered it monumental enough for Obama to issue a statement conceding the election.

    Fractional numbers don’t have the same psychological impact as whole numbers. Hence Willard’s talking point of unemployment above 8 percent for 40-some months. It’s the same reason retailers will sell a product for $99.99 rather than $100.

  52. 52
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    More wishful thinking of fucktards.

  53. 53
    Crashman says:

    @Villago Delenda Est: Hopefully you’re right. Their comments did seem a bit too giddy.

  54. 54
    SIA says:

    @General Stuck: Cilizza is the meringue toppong of journalism pie. Morning, General.

  55. 55
    Schlemizel says:


    To say nothing of the dozen other “can’t win” factors that have all been broken. Wish I could find the list. All those CW are true until they aren’t any longer.

  56. 56
    Joey Maloney says:

    Romney says the jobs report is, quote, a sad reminder that the economy is at a standstill, close quote. So there you have it.

  57. 57
    gene108 says:


    A nation can’t really go on for long with one certifiably insane political party that is unable to get checked on their insanity by the media voters who keep voting Republican.

    Fixed that for you.

    As long as being a dick works in getting elected as a Republican don’t expect much to change.

  58. 58
    GxB says:

    @Crashman: That’s called a psychotic break. Otherwise, your concern is duly noted.

  59. 59
    gene108 says:

    @Some Guy:

    Oh, and of course we need to investigate the Bureau of Labor Statistics for Socialists. It has labor in its name, for gawd’s sake.

    And Statistics. As the old saw goes, “there are lies, damn lies and statistics”

  60. 60
    PreservedKillick says:

    @Joey Maloney:

    Romney says the jobs report is, quote, a sad reminder that the economy is at a standstill, close quote. So there you have it.

    A tired, sad little man.

    That’s how he’s looking these days.

  61. 61
    Joel says:

    impact = 0

  62. 62
    mk3872 says:

    For Frig’s sake, stop with this weasly liberal “OK jobs report” crap already!!

    It’s a GOOD jobs report. Last 2 month’s #s were revised UP to add > 250k jobs in the past 3 months!!

    A change of 1/10th of 1% in the rate does NOT matter and only shows that more people are returning to the workforce, which is a GOOD thing, not an OK thing.

    Good grief

  63. 63
    handsmile says:

    On a thread ostensibly devoted to statistics, here’s more data from this morning that I rather like:

    From the Princeton Election Consortium (Sam Wang):

    “Probability of Obama Re-election: Random Drift 96%; Bayesian Prediction 99.2%”

    Also too for your reading pleasure, Wang clinically exposes the professional fraudulence of Messrs. Cillizza and Blitzer:

  64. 64
    General Stuck says:


    Hi Back. Charlie too!!

  65. 65
    feebog says:

    This is more than just an OK jobs report. It is very good, and when coupled with the August/September revisions it moves into the excellent category. The uptick to 7.9% completely takes away any wingnut argument that the numbers are fixed; after all they were complaining that a drop in the available workforce number was the sole reason for the unemployment rate to drop two tenths of a point last month.

    I do agree that this close to the election the report won’t make that much difference. But the wingnuts aren’t going to be able to spin much negative out of this report.

  66. 66
    Napoleon says:


    Probability of Obama Re-election: Random Drift 96%; Bayesian Prediction 99.2%”

    Seriously, does anyone not find those numbers laughable on their face?

  67. 67
    Villago Delenda Est says:


    Perhaps we should chart it out for you.

    You know, like that graphic showing the Grand Army in 1812?

  68. 68
    Cacti says:


    Seriously, does anyone not find those numbers laughable on their face?

    You have plenty of company in the innumerate national punditry.

  69. 69
    lacp says:

    Dean Baker, who’s often been very critical of the President on unemployment, thinks this report is pretty good. Willard is – as usual – full of shit.

  70. 70
    Ken says:

    @Napoleon: If I had stuff written on my face, people would probably laugh. But these numbers, no, they’d smile..

  71. 71
    Nemo_N says:

    CNN was in countdown mode yesterday regarding the jobs report. I woke up this morning, tuned in and not a pip about the actual number.

    I figured the number was good news for Obama since CNN can’t allow a good jobs number get in the way of the horse race.

  72. 72
    jimmiraybob says:

    Also too, I don’t know what it’s like elsewhere or how long it will last here, but regular unleaded gasoline is below the $3 mark in St. Louis, MO – following a long steady decline.

  73. 73
    Death Panel Truck says:

    @handsmile: The AP (Associated Propagandists) aren’t at all uncertain about how to deal with it:

    Romney, Obama each get something in jobs report.

    Note whose name came first.

  74. 74
    JustAnotherBob says:


    Seriously, does anyone not find those numbers laughable on their face?

    They bring me great joy.

    I’m sure there are math-challenged people who don’t understand….

  75. 75
    Bill Murray says:

    @Some Guy: 150K is the floor to keep up with population growth, so 177K would be good job growth if unemployment was like 4%. The employment to population rate stayed the same as it has been since September 2009. At the rate of 50K jobs above population growth, it would take about 9 years to get back to the labor force participation rate average from 1988-2008 of 66% from the current rate of 63.8%

  76. 76
    Cmm says:

    I think the best part of this report is that previously “discouraged” unemployed, who were no longer counted because not actively looking, have reactivated and are thus counted. That is pretty huge to me. And as awful as it was, Sandy is going to bring a lot of jobs with it, and boost construction to boot. So I expect the numbers to keep on improving. Rebuilding money is a stimulus package that the R’s would be suicidal to block, and if they try, the Dems oughts call them on it and loudly call out the names of those responsible if the bills fail to pass (which I expect that they won’t because there are republican politicians in all the delegations from the affected states who won’t vote against thir own constituents.)

  77. 77
    danah gaz says:

    @IM: “No president has ever elected with over 7.8% unemployment.”

    Until Obama, no candidate has ever won the presidency while black.

    Bookmark it, nutter.

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