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Unemployment Rises to 7.9 Percent

The Labor Department today reported that the economy created 171,000 jobs in October and that the unemployment rate rose a tenth of a point to 7.9 percent.

The slight increase in the unemployment rate is not helpful to President Obama, but not nearly as harmful as if the rate had risen to 8 percent, a symbolic number that would have signalled more strongly that Obama’s economic policies are not working.

Nevertheless, the unemployment rate moved in the wrong direction, and this may at least provide a good talking point to Republicans and may add to the sense that the country itself is not moving in the right direction either.

That’s the politics of it. But September payrolls were revised upward to a gain of 148,000 from 114,000, and August to 192,000 from an 142,000. So the reality is that the employment picture does appear to be improving, although only modestly.

All in all, the minor increase in unemployment balanced by the stronger jobs gains suggests this report will have little net effect on the election. The argument remains the same: President Obama will say there is slow, steady improvement, while Gov. Mitt Romney will ┬ásay it hasn’t been enough.

The increase of 171,000 jobs is a little better than what is needed to keep up with population growth, but it’s still not very robust growth. At this rate, it would still take many years to bring the unemployment rate down to pre-recession levels.

16 thoughts on “Unemployment Rises to 7.9 Percent”

  1. I am curious to see the details to it. It always seems like in these job reports there is some sort of oddity in them. And let’s all be honest: It will get downgraded in a few weeks to under 150,000 because it always does.

    Watch the press too to focus on the number and not the fact that unemployment tick up again.

  2. It is the slowest recovery we have had since WW2. Given the job killing effect of Dodd/Frank, the Fiscal Cliff, Obamacare, regulatory zeal from the EPA and a President that has never met a payroll or created a job, it is hardly a surprise that we are stuck in neutral. Another four years with the Chicago Hack in the WH and we will get to experience a real live Depression.

  3. Agree, Just. And this time, the data might be incomplete for a good reason since many eastern states are hit by Sandy. At least the data was not massaged to show 5% Unemployment and 750,000 jobs created!

  4. After the announcement of the new unemployment number, I became the 15th viewer of MorningJoe on MSNBC to see how they would spin this uptick to keep it from harming MrO’s re-election. I wasn’t disappointed; they claimed it was “good news” because it shows that more people are looking for jobs and it indicates an “optimistic” view of the economy.

    They aren’t stupid people who don’t understand the implications of our miserable economy on the health and welfare of their fellow Americans, but they would beclown themselves, debase their integrity, or just say anything no matter how ridiculous to save the Presidency of Barack Obama.
    It’s a shame, and shame on them.

    1. Headlines:
      ABC “US economy adds 171,000 jobs”
      NBC “US economy adds more jobs than expected”
      CBS “Unemployment rises to 7.9%”
      CNN “US hiring increases”

    2. They are shameless, srdem. I’ll be so glad when this election is over and the tragedy of poverty and joblessness can no longer be used to enhance the campaign of the coward in chief.

    3. What is UP with that Scarborough guy anyway? He is supposedly a conservative? From what he calls the Redneck Riviera in Northern FL. No wonder he lost his seat in Congress.

  5. Pingback: Obama Unemployment Rate Going Back UP - The Ulsterman Report

  6. Splain this to me. Last month we added less jobs but the rate dropped. This month the unemployment rate goes up with more jobs. I know part of it is that more people entered the workplace but couldn’t find jobs (which according to the tin foil crowd is a good thing because it shows optimism in the job seekers). Never mind.

  7. August and September jobs numbers revised upward, September’s by over 30%, August’s by over 35%? That’s the first time I ever remember them being revised upward, usually they are revised downward, as those downward revisions don’t receive any publicity compared to the announcement of the original inflated figures.

    There is no doubt in my mind that these figures are being cooked to the administration’s advantage. Why wouldn’t they be, the BLS is run by an Obama sycophant and her army of bureaucrats, many of whose jobs may be threatened by GOP election victories.

    Wake up America!

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