With only four days remaining before the 2012 presidential election, President Barack Obama and Republican challenger Mitt Romney, along with many economists, have been anxiously awaiting the November 2012 release of the monthly jobs report.
With an estimated 23 million Americans out of work and millions of people deep in debt, the report becomes especially pertinent during a presidential campaign so closely tied to concerns about who can effectively repair the economy for a stronger nation.
Unemployment and economic status have become issues close to the heart of Americans of all income levels and political parties. The jobs report, created using models employed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, gives people a quick snapshot of the current economy on a monthly basis.
Hiring numbers increase once again while unemployment grows
Just as some analysts predicted, the November 2012 published jobs report revealed an increase in hiring while the unemployment rate continued to increase. Although the economy added 171,000 jobs in October, the unemployment rate also grew from 7.8 percent in September to 7.9 percent for October.
Today’s report revealed that economists surveyed by CNN Money were accurate in estimating that unemployment would rise to 7.9 percent during October, indicating that more Americans have returned to the workforce. But economists underestimated how many positions would be created. Their projected new job figure was 45,000 jobs lower than the actual amount of jobs added.
An estimated 51,000 positions were added in the professional and business service arena. In addition, the health care industry increased by 31,000 jobs, and retail, leisure and hospitality also increased jobs. In contrast, the report indicated manufacturing numbers saw little change, and an estimated 9,000 mining jobs were lost.
The report also included a revision of job numbers for August and September, adding a combined 84,000 more jobs than originally reported in earlier reports.
While the data indicated hiring is gaining some momentum, analysts remain concerned unemployment levels will continue to plague the Americans economy and further stagnate growth.
Is the growth enough to make a difference?
While people are encouraged by any growth in industry and the job market, many analysts believe this moderate growth is not enough to make a substantial difference. This uncertainty in growth tends to discourage companies from adding more people to their payrolls.
Approximately 12.3 million people remain unemployed today, 40 percent of whom have been without work for more than half a year. While employment growth has averaged 157,000 jobs per month in 2012, this equates to only an estimated 4,000 more jobs per month than recorded in 2011.
Using the Jobs Report to Campaign
This final snapshot of the American economy before Election Day only fuels the fire during such a tight and heated presidential race. With the latest information in hand, both candidates have returned to the campaign trail today, each using the latest economic statistics to make a case for election.
Obama sees the reported job growth as proof that Americans should continue on the path he has set forth through re-election. Under his presidency, Obama claims the nation has created 5 million jobs since February 2010.
During a stop in Milwaukee, WI today, Romney focused his attention on unemployment rates being higher today than when Obama took office. The increase in the unemployment rate, he said, is a reminder the economy is at a virtual standstill.
Bill “No Pay” Fay has lived a meager financial existence his entire life. He started writing/bragging about it seven years ago, helping birth Debt.org into existence as the site’s original “Frugal Man.” Prior to that, he spent more than 30 years covering college and professional sports, which are the fantasy worlds of finance. His work has been published by the Associated Press, New York Times, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, Sports Illustrated and Sporting News, among others. His interest in sports has waned some, but his interest in never reaching for his wallet is as passionate as ever. Bill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Luhby, T. (2012, November 2). October jobs report: Hiring increases, unemployment up. CNN Money. Retrieved from http://money.cnn.com/2012/11/02/news/economy/october-jobs-report/index.html
- Econoday. (2012, November 2). 2012 Economic Calendar. Retrieved from http://mam.econoday.com/byshoweventfull.asp?fid=451285&cust=mam
- Kuhnhenn, J. (2012, November 2). Romney, Obama each get something in jobs report. Boston.com. Retrieved from http://www.boston.com/news/politics/2012/president/candidates/romney/2012/11/02/for-romney-obama-final-jobs-report-fuels-race/wLCqjvsYaGBqjyktk5onCK/story.html
- Pickler, N and Pace, J. (2012, November 2). Romney, Obama fight spiritedly into final weekend. Huffington Post. Retrieved from http://www.huffingtonpost.com/huff-wires/20121102/us-presidential-campaign/