October Jobs Numbers Are Big News … for the Next President

The October jobs report is big news for presidential politics. But not in the way you might think.

  • Share
  • Read Later
Christopher Morris / VII for TIME

Presidential candidate and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney campaigns in Land O' Lakes, Fla., on Oct. 27, 2012.

The U.S. economy added an estimated 171,000 jobs in October, according to a Nov. 2 government report, which also made upward revisions to August and September figures of some 84,000 previously unreported jobs. It’s the second straight month with large positive revisions, erasing concerns prevalent in August that the lumbering recovery had ground to a halt.

This is potentially big news for presidential politics. But not in the way you might think.

Don’t be fooled by Democratic backslapping or ludicrous Republican spin. (Conservatives are eagerly pointing out that the 7.9% unemployment rate is a tenth of a percentage point higher than the day Obama took office in 2009. Employment fell off a cliff shortly thereafter, and the reason the rate ticked up in October was that Americans were rejoining the workforce — all-around good news.) The October report won’t have any real effect on the outcome of the presidential election Nov. 6. To reiterate what we’ve written before, economic news takes some time to sink in with the electorate. No one’s going to print out the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics Excel spreadsheet to bring with them into the voting booth.

The reality is that the economic news from the past six months — a frustratingly slow recovery but a recovery all the same — is already baked into President Obama’s numbers. Just as Republicans can’t credibly claim most voters will hold Obama responsible for catastrophic losses at the beginning of his term — and in fact most polls still show more voters blame President Bush for the economy’s woes — Democrats can’t credibly claim the upward revisions announced Nov. 2 will improve most voters’ impressions of Obama’s handling of the economy before Election Day. But the increasingly positive trajectory is politically important all the same.

(PHOTOSThe Recession in Pictures: America Copes with a Stagnant Economy)

As Derek Thompson points out at the Atlantic, “Whoever wins on Tuesday inherits an economy that is still awfully weak and a jobs recovery that’s clearly gaining momentum.” To put it another way, the next President will preside over an economy with a large capacity for job growth in the next four years. Mitt Romney was shrewd enough to recognize this fact early on and has focused his closing pitch around a pledge to create 12 million jobs in his first term. This is deviously brilliant — and a little dishonest — because that’s on the conservative end of what nonpartisan economic forecasters expect to happen under current policies. Obama, perhaps wizened by the painfully inaccurate consensus forecasts in the months before he took office, has not tried to take any credit for these projections by claiming that they’re due to his policies.

Ultimately, monthly jobs reports are just surveys with fairly large margins for error. It’s always silly to make sweeping pronouncements about the state of the economy on the basis of any one metric in any given month. But historically there’s been a pattern to mistaken economic forecasts. In a recession, the eggheads tend to underestimate the depths of distress. Conservative estimates in bad times have turned out to be woefully wrong, as they were in late 2008. But the reverse is also true: large upward revisions to recent jobs reports suggest we might see more upward revisions to all sorts of economic figures in the coming months — a recovery with real momentum. Whoever wins on Nov. 6 will likely get the credit. And either way, you’ll hear a lot about it for the next four years.

74 comments
joe
joe

If Romney somehow manages to make all the swing state polls wrong and wins this elections, all he's going to have to do is makes sure he doesn't do anything to mess up the recovery Obama will be handing over to him, and then he do what he's made a career of doing: taking credit for things other people did.

EdPiedra
EdPiedra

ROMNEY = VOTE FOR LOVE OF COUINTRY.: USA WILL COME BACK ROARING !dear leader OBAMA = Vote FOR REVENGE , DIVIDER,. Master CAMPAIGNER FIRST !

Obama lied, then Denied and in BENGHAZI, 4 AMERICANS DIED !

--   http://tinyurl.com/bwu9lpd    -----David Axelgrease described the message coming from President Barack Obama days before Election Day as "coming from his loins."Obama said 'Voting is the Best Revenge'…. This, also, must be coming from the same location,….. but, REVENGE against WHAT OR WHOM, Master Campaigner in Chief ??Obama is THE GREATEST DIVIDER OF OUR BELOVED COUNTRY, Master Class -Warfarer , Master Race -Warfarer….. Shame on you !! --- The fact you ARE President dispell The notion we are a RacistNation. You have lied to us, deceived us, made up tall tales…. We are not stupid Mr.President …. YOU ARE FIRED !!! DeoPP said : - This is why I call him Dear Leader because he is just like any other Communist leader using hate and fear to divide the masses so he can stay in power.

See it : --- http://tinyurl.com/br5hz5q ----

superlogi
superlogi

The job participation rate was 66.5% and the unemployment rate was 7.8% when Barry took office.  Today, job participation is 63.8% and the unemployment rate is 7.9%.  GDP growth is running at 2% while borrowing for Federal spending alone is running at 10% of GDP which is a one dollar return for every 5 borrowed.  Spin those numbers if you can.

BenevolentLawyer
BenevolentLawyer

Please send this video clip to as many people as possible. Watch Republicans discuss Romney and his UTTER DISHONESTY. His willingness to take ALL and any position for political expediency  is well captured by this video. Please share it.

Cheers!

http://youtu.be/av3q7-a-ayc

EdPiedra
EdPiedra

YOU ASSUME THAN WOMEN ARE STUPID !  do not insult the women in my family !

WHY THE DEMOCRATS underestimate and TRY TO CONFUSE THE AMERICAN WOMEN?AMERICAN WOMEN ARE SMART AND THEY KNOW THIS:ROMNEY/RYAN HAVE TO, AND WILL FOLLOW THE CONSTITUTION AND THE LAW, !!Their personal believes are just THEIR PERSONAL BELIEVES !! --

OUR Constitution guarantees 'freedom of choice' and it is a woman's RIGHT to apply that to her private life. It is between HER and her conscience and her GOD. It is no one else's business to tell her what to do. ---If she practices a religion that asks her to preserve life, then it is HER decision to follow or NOT. ---It is NOT the role of government nor public pressure to make those decisions for her. ---THIS IS SO SIMPLE. What is all the FUSS over this, anyway? ---People must be very bored with their lives to carry on about this the way they do. Move on and get a life. ---THE AMERICAN WOMEN VOTE WITH THEIR SMARTS. PERIOD !

THEIR TARGET IS A STRONG ECONOMY !  --Romney/Ryan ARE the ONLY " KNOW HOW " TEAM !

"Although the Obama campaign discounts any poll showing the president trailing among women, the vanishing gap may be why Team Obama is focusing on abortion in the battleground states and risking the airing of the “Your First Time” video, equating voting to losing one’s virginity. "REALLY??? in the estimation of all sensible women I know that FOCUSING is working out to Romney's benefit !

BenevolentLawyer
BenevolentLawyer

This fresh video clip--Sponsored by The Jewish Council of Education and Research-- is for forward thinking women (and men) who know that our reproductive rights and economic rights are entwined. 

http://youtu.be/c_Es82leIkE

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

Last four hours working on defeating the anti-gay marriage amendment in Minnesota. Tomorrow the the Voter ID amendment.

A weekend well spent. 

price.mlp
price.mlp

The jobs report was negative. The unemployment rate went up. Means more people are out if work now thsn in sep.

Where is obama where is fema???? No man left behind - benghazi and now new york and jersey??? These people still hsve no food or water. Obama is a failure. We need a leader. Yes. I voted for obama the first time but not again.

Curious_Quiche
Curious_Quiche

They're gonna have to re-word the headline there. Right after the ellipses.....needs to say President Obama.

EdPiedra
EdPiedra

(  copied )  GET CRYSTAL CLEAR ABOUT  FEMA AND HURRICANE SANDY !

 The GOVERNMENT HAS NO money. It's taxes money we pay. So, the taxpayer is spending THE money, -NOT The Government. --
FEMA's MONEY IS taxpayers’ money; it is YOUR money and mine, and for a long -
time WE THE PEOPLE are insulted when the loot is referred to as GOVERNMENT MONEY !! ---
OBAMA IS JUST DOING HIS JOB of using OUR MONEY, ( not very efficiently, the warning was given not soon enough and people are NOT being HELPED soon enough ! ) but -YES - HE trying to score political points.
THE NAKED TRUTH IS: The taxpaying citizens of 50 states chipped in the- (TAX )- money to give relief to the victims of the Hurricane SANDY !
DO NOT FORGET THIS. --
WE THE PEOPLE- WILL HIRE A PRESIDENT THAT RESPECTS OUR CONSTITUTION --
AND WILL NOT DIMINISH OUR FREEDOM LITTLE BY LITTLE , LIE TO US AND  WILL HAVE  - ACCESS TO OUR BANK ACCOUNT ! NO !

CLICK ON: ---- http://tinyurl.com/nweao6 ----AND SEND  THIS LINK TO ZILLIONS  !! ------- http://tinyurl.com/br5hz5q ----Re-post for the clueless .....

EdPiedra
EdPiedra

NOTHING  can erase the infamy of  BENGHAZI GATE !

PATRIOTS OF ALL PARTIES  AND ANCESTRY !Latinos and other minorities are people of honor and dignity.WE AS A WHOLE ARE AN HONORABLE NATION AND WE DESERVE AN HONORABLE PRESIDENT !NOT a Master Deceiver, Cove-upper in Chief !Message was taken down by Facebook TWICEThe message contained in a meme suggesting that Obama relied on the SEALS when he wanted to get Osama bin Laden, but then turned round and denied them back up when they called for it in Benghazi.  --

---   http://tinyurl.com/bwu9lpd    --------

REMEMBER   THAT MITT ROMNEY has THE Know How to improve FEMA or ANY -FEDERAL PROGRAM ! with less bureaucracy  and MORE EFFICIENCY  !OBAMA AND HIS ADMINISTRATION = THE MOST INFAMOUS COVER-UPPERS OF THE CENTURY !
Whoever vote for Obama is a PARTICIPANT ! Vote as this were your very LAST vote cast. !
Vote to be happy with your conscience and your God ! HE will ask you one day.Search ASAP:

 OPERATION HOT MIC--    http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?feature=player_embedded&v=-Czo5Vf8KZs

BenevolentLawyer
BenevolentLawyer

I hope Halperin knows that about one hundred Republican officials were sent to meet Romney at this "Giant"rally. And this was a widely publicized event mostly done for the optics. You know, the Karl Rove efforts to make Romney look presidential in his Armani suit, with screaming Republicans reaching out to him as he walks past them (thinking of them as dirty serfs as he walks past LOL).

Anyway, I think that Halperin will soon be deflecting to Fox News. Call me a prescient commenter-- if you like. But I see it as clear as day. Romney will not win, so Halperin will not be getting any Press Secretary role. But Fox News will pay him handsomely for his brazen UNABASHED partisanship throughout this election period. 

On Morning Joe this week, Halperin gladly sided with Joe when Joe stated that Obama was helping Christie with the disaster, for political purposes. Yes, Halperin nodded, agreed with Joe, and then smiled like a big fox... heh heh. Whatever dude!! 

At this time, Halperin is making no effort to hide the fact that he is a  HIGHLY PARTISAN AND BIASED Romney at all costs" emm... "journalist." Don't get me wrong, Halperin is a good writer, but I rarely waste time on his articles since they continued to read like a watered down version of Karl Rove's innumerable " The elites will rule you all by any means possible" "manifestos" 

Now Halperin has minimized himself to becoming the Romney folks photographer/campaigner. Little wonder he is prominently featured in a recent Romney/anti-Obama ad! Exhausting!!

Vote Obama/Biden 2012

coggocog
coggocog

@gosumercogito.blogspot.comOf Wall Street Bromance and I

Ivy_B
Ivy_B

The thing about the 12 million jobs that Mitt latched onto that seems to be generally overlooked is that it is expected to happen under current policies. When Mitt comes in and brings in the tax cuts and the deficits and discovers that the confidence fairy is off somewhere doing her fingernails, that prediction may be done.

"This is deviously brilliant — and a little dishonest — because that’s on the conservative end of what nonpartisan economic forecasters expect to happen under current policies."

clarenceswinney
clarenceswinney

DEMOCRATS CREATE GREATPROGRAMSREPUBLICANS DESTROY GREATPROGRAMSMy list is 82 long-- google--clarence swinney + 82 DemocratA Few:Social Security ActMedicareGI Bill Of RightsNational Industrial RecoveryActNational HousingActSavings and LoanBankingCommercial Banks separate fromInvestment BanksFederal CommunicationsActTVAPermanent school lunchprogramMarshall PlanPeace CorpsAid to dependent ChildrenProgramSmall Business Investment ActSBAEqual Pay ActClean Air ActHead StartPermanent Food StampProgramFreedom Of InformationActClean Water ActAmericans With DisabilitiesActMinimum WageAmeri-CorpsVeteransAdministrationEarned Income TaxCreditHealth Care Reform(Obamacare)Name ten created byRepublicans

BenevolentLawyer
BenevolentLawyer

I was looking for an interview from MA to show just how arrogant Romney IS, and could not find any. Nicely scrubbed off  online video repositories!!!  Anyway, here is a Fox interview that shows just a LITTLE of how arrogant and entitled Romney feels about himself. He was astonished that anyone would dare ask him real questions about his positions-- on that Republican vomit News Network--Fox News http://youtu.be/ZeQto-aAzl8

HudsonValleyTim
HudsonValleyTim

I disagree with the assertion that these numbers do not help Obama. I simply cannot believe that Romney didn't have a media-blitz centered around poor-job-numbers. Now that the job numbers are decent (and kinda irrefutable), plus the past months revise-up and more people are getting back-out looking for work, it leaves Mitty and Co. with one-less blunt-object to hurl at the administration. What's that leave Romney to b!tch about...not so much. Plus, when he says that we can't afford another 4 years, I would counter that the trajectory looks pretty good.

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

Heh-my comment at AA's BHO is leading in the polls post was "Unleash the hounds" 

Current count 437. 

Leftcoastrocky
Leftcoastrocky

It is a global economy and the Eurozone is holding us back.  Waiting for Germany's Merkel to get serious and work out a compromise.

TheWaryLemming
TheWaryLemming

" the next President will preside over an economy with a large capacity for job growth in the next four years. Mitt Romney was shrewd enough to recognize this fact early on, and has focused his closing pitch around a pledge to create 12 million jobs in his first term. This is deviously brilliant–and a little dishonest–because that’s on the conservative end of what non-partisan economic forecasters expect to happen under current policies."

Wow facts.  I love it.

Sadly, There is a group in this country who are so allergic to facts, they go loopy whehever presented with one or two.

For those folks, Here  - go in to anaphylactic shock:

http://goo.gl/S2YXA

And you can thank the Affordable Care Act for your epi-pen

fitty_three
fitty_three

Care to touch on the date those two numbers peaked?

Care to post the curve?  You can try to FF past the GOP born and bread Great Recession but reality is reality.

nhautamaki
nhautamaki

So what's your point?  That just because elected officials are limited by the laws of the land in what they can do, it shouldn't matter if their core beliefs are fundamentally opposed to yours?  So you wouldn't care if Candidate X said 'I believe forced marriages of 12 year old girls is a matter of the choice of their fathers and government should not forbid this' you'd be fine with voting for them on the grounds that the constitution limits their ability to put their beliefs into law anyway?

BenevolentLawyer
BenevolentLawyer

@EdPiedra Our reproductive rights are an economic issue. So your effort to separate these inter-related issues is wrong.  And yes, Ryan and Romney's positions are unacceptable. We sill speak at the on November 6th. You just wait and see. Shock and Awe!! Obama is a good President who CARES about women's rights. We will be supporting and electing him on November 6, 2012. We want the sun to keep shinning on America, and we reject the DARKNESS of a ROMNEY PLUTOCRACY!!

PaulDirks
PaulDirks

@price.mlp he unemployment rate went up. Means more people are out if work now than in sep.

Should I tell him?

"Labor participation" Way too difficult to understand? 

BenevolentLawyer
BenevolentLawyer

@EdPiedra People are being helped soon enough!! Do you live on MARS??? Have you not been reading the reports?? This was a disaster, not a party. The clean up effort is complicated, but if well managed, will show steady progress. We are seeing STEADY progress, pilgrim!           

The job of the President is to make sure that FEMA is well funded and properly managed. You have stated the obvious about taxes blah blah. Bush had the same access to FEMA and the tax payer funding, meanwhile, his appointee, the Arabian horse manager, caused the DEATH of thousands of innocent Americans. Obama appointed a tested and competent veteran of disaster management to head FEMA. And this head of FEMA is doing a good job.

After this election, many of you that hate Obama just because it is the Rove and Romney way-- will REQUIRE heavy long term therapy. I am thinking electroshock therapy might be re-introduced just to punish some of you for fear mongering, misinformation, lies and unwarranted hysteria. GOSH!! :(

BenevolentLawyer
BenevolentLawyer

@EdPiedra All these conspiracy theories. Gosh!! Did you read the CIA version of the story. Dude, you need to lay off the VODKA. You sound super hysterical. I have a suggestion for you, and you should really consider it. Please stay home on the 6th. You sound quite uninformed and hyper partisan. We are trying to elect the best  candidate (President Obama), and hysterical hyper partisanship does not help the electoral process AT ALL. Stay home. Stay dry... stay AWAY from the liquor cabinet.

LiberalLies2012
LiberalLies2012

@BenevolentLawyer 

Desperation.  The hope and change has transformed into total desperation from those of you on the left.  Poor LawyerMommy who has changed her name to BenevolentLawyer can see the outcome of this race, and it doesn't look good for Barry Obama at all.  

outsider
outsider

@sacredh  

That looks awesome. 83.7% and 305 electoral votes. 

It looks great. 

nflfoghorn
nflfoghorn

@sacredh Momney in FL has a 54.8% chance of winning?  I'll flip my quarter.

Sinspreader88
Sinspreader88

Mitt just pulled that number out of no where. Even if it were true he gives no details how he plans to accomplish such a task.  Or any task for that matter all of his talk is speculatory at best. He doesn't have a plan and he just wants to ignore that fact and would rather lie to voters. He told 533 lies in 30 weeks and was unterlly destroyed at the last two debates, in fact president Obama didn't have to try to make him look bad he did it himself. I don't know how any sane person can vote for someone with such a wobbly pillar of jargon and lies.

mantisdragon91
mantisdragon91

@LiberalLies2012 Joe the Plumber? The guy who is neither a plumber or a tax payer. Thing must look really bleak to trot out that fraud.

bobell
bobell

And who isn't named Joe.

Paul,nnto
Paul,nnto

@outsider2011 @Paul,nnto  I am so okay with Bachmann. 

A republican district sends someone to Congress who has zero effect on any policy, raises as much money for Democrats as she does for republicans, and is a national laughingstock. 

Yeah, all in all... Two more years! Two more years! 

outsider
outsider

@Paul,nnto @outsider2011  

Did ya see Nates numbers - from the polls on Friday? 

Looking sweet. No wonder all the loonies are coming out of the woodwork.