And finally we have it… the last Big bluster of economic data we will receive before election day. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the US economy added 171,000 jobs. Slightly stronger than expected, but not enough jobs to keep up with more people entering the workforce. As a result, the unemployment rate rose to 7.9 percent.
The jobs numbers for both August and September were also revised upward. The August numbers went from 142,000 to 192,000, and September saw a change from 114,000 to 148,000.
This is significant news of course, but no one really knows if it will affect the election in one way or another. Tens of millions in our country are now living through the new challenges from Hurricane Sandy, so it’s quite understandable they have more pressing concerns than this one report. Also, over 20 million Americans have already voted, so today’s numbers won’t have an impact there.
But the continued information shows that the pattern of growth continues. Consumer confidence is increasing as more people find work, and are able to work more hours. Crtical sectors like Construction are showing job gains… an indicator that there’s more strength to come in the housing market as people start investing in new home and business starts again. Just take a look at Steve Benen’s tracking chart from MaddowBlog:
The trend lines don’t lie. Even with a very uncooperative Congress, skiddish banks and continued worries throughout Europe, the United States has added jobs for 25 months in a row. We all know that things aren’t ‘growing Gangbusters’, but is that really such a bad thing? This recovery may not be fancy, but at least we can all agree that it’s real. It’s not being built on a boom-and-bust cycle that is controlled by the psychological whim’s of Wall-Street. We can trace American job growth right now to an honest days’ work. Here’s what I mean…
-Thanks to the health of the auto industry, factories in Michigan and Ohio are humming again.
-The healthcare sector continues to grow… not simply because of Obamacare, but because of the sheer reality that our ‘Baby Boomer’ generation is getting older, and they need an ever-increasing share of services.
-America’s urban areas are at the beginnings of a seachange as people who traditionally lived in the suburbs are now moving back to core inner cities. That creates demand for more housing units in cities, which leads to more construction jobs.
-New trade deals with countries like Brazil and Panama have led to growing demand for American products over-seas.
All of these indicators point to more stability down the road. The President’s leadership can’t be understated as a part of this trend. Let’s just hope that voters realize this on Election Day, and that we don’t slow down or reverse the ‘Obama Omentum’. It’s beginning to pick up steam.