In the last monthly job reports before the election, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced Friday that unemployment rate remained "essentially unchanged" and rose from 7.8 percent in September to 7.9 percent in October. The BLS also adds that there were 171,000 new jobs in October and the participation rate jumped to 63.8 percent. The unemployment rate is about what was expected—analysts expected a small rise considering the big drop last month—but the number of new jobs added beat expectations. Business Insider's Joe Weisenthal reported that analysts were expecting around 125,000 jobs.
The big story in the BLS's jobs report has been the revisions. As The Atlantic's Derek Thompson notes, each jobs report is an estimate (a guess) from surveys, which is then revised. And in today's report, the BLS revised September's nonfarm payroll employment to 148,000 jobs added from its previous estimate of 114,000—that's good news for Americans.
There's +-/- 100k margin of error for every report. But 170k isn't just October's first estimate ... it's also our new 3-month average!— Derek Thompson (@DKThomp) November 2, 2012
And in case you were wondering how we got below to a rate below 8 percent in the last two months, a lot of it again had to do with revisions:
BLS's initial estimate for August was a horrid 96,000. Then revised to 142,000. Now to 192,000. Keep that in mind.— Brian Beutler (@brianbeutler) November 2, 2012
Last month saw lowest rate since Obama took office in 2009. And that number came along with suspicious conspiracy theories from Republicans who had been using the number, when it was above 8 percent, to slam President Obama. (Unemployment-truther Jack Welch and his Twitter account have remained silent.)We're still under that magic 8 percent, and the small rise just isn't enough for this number to be a game-changing factor for the Romney or Obama campaigns heading into Tuesday.
Despite the "essentially unchanged" unemployment rate, here's the attack RNC chair Reince Priebus is going with:
The unemployment rate is higher today than when Obama took office, w/fewer people in the workforce. We can’t afford 4 more yrs of this.— Reince Priebus (@Reince) November 2, 2012
And apparently, Mitt Romney has released a statement too (via Business Insider) regarding the .1 uptick. He avoided a statement last month when the rate dropped below 8 percent. But, hey a rise in an unemployment is a rise right? Romney's statement:
Today’s increase in the unemployment rate is a sad reminder that the economy is at a virtual standstill. The jobless rate is higher than it was when President Obama took office, and there are still 23 million Americans struggling for work...
This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.