U.S. October Jobs Report
The U.S. Labor Department reported this morning that the U.S. economy added 171,000 jobs in October, but that the unemployment rate increased to 7.9% from 7.8%.
One has to wonder:
how many of those jobs are seasonal retail ones, what with U.S. Black Friday rapidly approaching and Christmas falling fast on Black Friday's heels. Black Friday is the day after U.S. Thanksgiving Day, or this year Friday, November 23. Black Friday traditionally the biggest single retail sales day of the year in the U.S.; and,
how much 1/10th of 1% might mean to next Tuesday's Presidential Election? Would a reported 8.0% unemployment rate have made a difference? That is something that I think would have almost certainly been on the U.S. Labor Department's Board Table as the news release was being prepared.
I suspect Mr. Obama breathed a large sigh of relief when he learned - I suspect likely before the data was made public - that the reported unemployment rate statistic was going come in at under 8.0%. Expect to hear Mr. Romney raise the same point over the next three days - although perhaps not quite as gently.
There will be more detailed information and analysis on this in the next days, and I will update this commentary in Monday's Newsletter.