Final jobs report before election gives ammo for both sides
November 2nd, 2012
09:59 AM ET
7 years ago

Final jobs report before election gives ammo for both sides

(CNN) – The final set of monthly jobs data before Tuesday's presidential election provided both campaigns fodder to drive home their closing arguments on jobs and the economy, with President Barack Obama's team arguing the numbers show the economy on the rebound while Mitt Romney's team claiming it shows an economy still struggling.

The GOP nominee spotlighted the unemployment rate rising to 7.9%, up from 7.8% a month ago. While the rate is lower than the benchmark 8%, it's higher than it was when President Barack Obama took office in 2008.

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"Today's increase in the unemployment rate is a sad reminder that the economy is at a virtual standstill," Romney wrote in a statement soon after the report was released. "The jobless rate is higher than it was when President Obama took office, and there are still 23 million Americans struggling for work."

Romney used the report to push ahead to next week's election, saying it makes the choice even clearer for voters who are still undecided in their presidential preference.

"On Tuesday, America will make a choice between stagnation and prosperity," Romney wrote. "For four years, President Obama's policies have crushed America's middle class. For four years, President Obama has told us that things are getting better and that we're making progress. For too many American families, those words ring hollow."

"When I'm president, I'm going to make real changes that lead to a real recovery, so that the next four years are better than the last," he concluded.

Romney's running mate, Rep. Paul Ryan, echoed Romney's points at a separate event in Colorado, then criticized Obama for the economic stimulus measure.

"The economy is growing at less than half the rate that the president said it would be growing at if only he could borrow a bunch of money and spend it on his cronies and stimulus package," Ryan said. "We are 9 million jobs short than what he said he would accomplish. Look, in the president's campaign for another term, he has offered nothing different and if he is reelected, nothing different is exactly what we would get."

Obama's team honed in on the 171,000 jobs that were created in October, according to Friday's report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The number, which exceeded economists' expectations, gave Obama and his surrogates an opportunity to tout an economy on the upswing, and to advocate for another four years of Obama's economic policies.

"While more work remains to be done, today's employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression," Alan Krueger, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, wrote in a blog post on the White House website. "It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007."

Both Obama and Romney have events scheduled for later Friday morning, and both were expected to address the jobs report.

Candy Crowley, CNN's chief political correspondent, said Friday the report was unlikely to sway many voters since it largely plays into what the candidates have been saying for months on the campaign trail.

"This is fuel to the same fire," Crowley said. "Both the president and the governor will come out and say, you see? I told you all along this was so, and this report is exactly what I was trying to tell you about."

Sheila Bair, the former chairman of the FDIC, said that since the numbers already played into the campaigns' economic narratives, the effect would be minimal on Election Day.

"I think the reality is the unemployment rate is now higher than it was when Mr. Obama took office, so that's going to give Mr. Romney a talking point, but the jobs creation number is a good one, so I think it's a wash and won't have much impact," Bair said on CNN.


Filed under: 2012 • Jobs • Mitt Romney • President Obama
soundoff (90 Responses)
  1. ER

    I will be so disappointed in America if Romney is elected president. It will just go to show that stupid people really do control this world. I am growing weary of the gross incompetance in this country.

    November 2, 2012 11:02 am at 11:02 am |
  2. Malory Archer

    FactChik

    Until you know how many jobs Bain created, saved, lost or shipped overseas- you are WILLFULLY IGNORANT because you refuse to learn ALL the facts.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Since you know ALL the facts howsabout YOU silence the opposition with those facts? If you're unable to do so theyn you're even more ignorant than those you're bashing.

    November 2, 2012 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  3. FactCheck

    Romney is really upset about the latest BLS statistics. He claims that job creation has become stagnant... in China. With more folks joining the US work force, Mitt won't have a lot to outsource.

    November 2, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  4. rs

    It is unrealistic for anyone to believe Mr. Romney will have any more success on the economy, or defict (which has gone DOWN 31% under Obama) as long as Romney is in bed with Grover Norquist and hs "Club for Growth". To strangle government at all levels by restricting revenue (and keeping the "temporary" Bush-era tax cuts in place for the very wealthy) we will continue to lose jobs in the government sector, and run up the debt.

    Romney whines about the things we can't afford- Duh! we cant afford to give the richest 125,000 Americans an ADDITIONAL $800,000 tax cut. It is hight time to return to the sane tax levels under Carter or even Eisenhower to get our country back on track.

    It is time for Romney to pledge allegiance to the United States and not Grover Norquist.

    November 2, 2012 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  5. Malory Archer

    RudyG

    171,000 new jobs and 170,000 new jobless.

    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Do you not understand how unemployment numbers are calculated?

    November 2, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  6. FactCheck

    Now that it is adjusting and going up, it should be a negative for obama.
    -----
    Do you have ANY clue as to how the economy works? Here's a hint: 171,000 more people are working now than they were last month.

    November 2, 2012 11:06 am at 11:06 am |
  7. Malory Archer

    My entire family casted our votes 2 weeks ago

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    You put your votes into a cast? Why, were they broken?

    November 2, 2012 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  8. ROMNEY2012

    VIRTUAL STANDSTILL: 171K New Jobs, 170K New Jobless

    November 2, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  9. TexasIndependent

    So far, all I've heard Romney say is that he's "going to make real changes that lead to a real recovery...," but I haven't heard him say yet what those changes might be. The truth is that Presidents (whether it's Obama or Romney or anybody else) really can do very very little when it comes to increasing hiring, especially in the private sector. They can do little more than make the business environment conducive to companies spending money and investing in new head count. So "real changes" are just another empty promise from a candidate who really doesn't seem to have a clue. Obama inherited the mess left behind by arguably the most hated President in American history – GW Bush. Bush threw us into war after war and threw his support behind the Tea Party and their unique brand of American terrorism (....and make no mistake about it - the Tea Party and it's followers ARE domestic terrorists). For inheriting such an awful mess, Obama has done well enough that I will support him again, simply because he's the lesser of two evils. I'd rather face the evil I know and recognize and am familiar with than face an unknown evil (Romney) with a brain the size of grain of salt. 'Nuff said. Obama '12.

    November 2, 2012 11:09 am at 11:09 am |
  10. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    This report is ammo for Romney? No, romney already has his ammo...LIBYA, LIBYA, LIBYA. And if it wasn't for Governor Christie who by the way has welcomed BIG government help from the President in wake of Superstorm Sandy, then it would have been SANDY, SANDY, SANDY. See, Robmoney is an opportunist who likes to feed off of tragedies for political gain. Its no wonder why the mother of one of the U.S. trops killed in the Benghazi attack, said she doesn't trust Romney at all, as she called for him to stop using her son's name on the campaign trail.

    But this jobs report is nothing new. Following release of the previous jobs report, Romney said the unemployment rate declined because people stop looking for work. Well, the unemployment rate just went back up a notch because those people resumed looking for work. But the other half of the equation kept the unemployment rate steady as our economy continue to do what its been doing for two and a half years or 34 consecutive months which is steady job growth. Furthermore, when Democrats had control of the House and Senate from 2009 to 2010, the economy was adding 200,000 to 300,000 jobs per month. But when the tea party took control of the House in late 2010, job growth fell dramatically under 100,000 per month. That is another part of the equation why job growth has been slow.

    But when the true equation or arithmatic is done on Nov 6, it would be lights out for Mitt the tax evading draft dodging flip flopping Robmoney.

    Obama/Biden 2012 by a LANDSLIDE!!!

    November 2, 2012 11:12 am at 11:12 am |
  11. Robert

    Texas Independent
    The truth is that Presidents (whether it's Obama or Romney or anybody else) really can do very very little when it comes to increasing hiring, especially in the private sector.

    Yeah. Like opening up federal lands for oil drilling, opening offshore area for drilling, encouraging fracking and gas recovery. Right there, by unleashing the freee enterprise system, we will create millions of jobs and millions more from demand.

    November 2, 2012 11:14 am at 11:14 am |
  12. Wake up People!

    Mr. President, please come out with one final ad. It needs to run from now until election night. Please show the uninformed masses Mitch McConnell in action. Please Mr. President!

    OBAMA 2012!

    November 2, 2012 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  13. Robert

    One thing we can see from all the comments about is that civil war and annihilation of liberals is the only solution.

    November 2, 2012 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  14. MNAnonymous!

    so some of you casted their votes for Mr. Romney... the Bush administration policies on education must have worked then: it's "to cast, cast, cast"... you CAST your vote, even in the past! People should have a minimum amount of education and knowledge of the american language before being allowed to cast their vote!

    November 2, 2012 11:17 am at 11:17 am |
  15. Andrew

    Funny, now that the percentage went up .1 percent, the GOP is going to use it like crazy, after basically saying last month the way of getting that information is basically a fraud.

    November 2, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  16. TownC

    171,000 jobs added 170,000 more unemployment claims. Manufacturing hiring is flat! No matter how this is spun the American people see the effects where they live. This is not good news at all!

    November 2, 2012 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  17. wolfpackbob

    It is The Economy, Mr. President. Your Economy, Mr. President. You built that.

    November 2, 2012 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  18. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    What's Romney's unlucky number? Well, as Governor, Massachusetts was 47th in job growth! On Nov 6, 47% of the American people will remember how he meligned them when he dined with his rich friends a few months ago and on Nov 6, Romney will go down when he looses 47 states!!! Hehehe!

    Obama/Biden 2012 by a LANDSLIDE!!!

    November 2, 2012 11:22 am at 11:22 am |
  19. betterdays

    Here come the threats to move to Canada again. Happens every four years. Unfortunately, 99.9% of them don't actually leave.

    And if 47% of the country isn't exactly "victimized," there is probably a good 10% of the country that doesn't really WANT the responsibility that comes with a full-time job offering decent pay. That's what it's like in this new, "progressive" America.

    Also, while we've been debating who is going to stick it to the middle class, the lower class is getting a) larger and b) dumber than ever. We're just not talking about it, because just to discuss it would be to admit a lot of things neither candidate is willing to admit, like the real reasons many poor people are poor, and touchy stuff like that...

    November 2, 2012 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  20. Ch-Ch-Ch Chaka Khan

    How old does it get to hear "Worst blah, blah, blah, since the Great Depression?" Isn't this just a built-in excuse for mediocrity? Check the facts on how long economic recovery took after townturns starting in the Great Depression until now.

    November 2, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  21. USMCJock

    Please can somebody tell me how Romney is going to make all of these changes, when the GOP won't control the US Senate?????????

    November 2, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  22. Vote 2012

    during his rally speech the other day Romney said election day is November 7th. lol President Obama begged Congress to pass the Jobs Bill to build new roads and bridges and rebuild outdated roads and bridges and to create infrastructure jobs, had they listen to the President lives and homes could have been during hurricane Sandy. And let's not forget if Congress had passed the obs Bill there would be no shortage of search and rescue staff i.e. police, fireman etc. FORWARD Obama/Biden 2012, will finish the job and create more much needed jobs. God Bless America

    November 2, 2012 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  23. Vote 2012

    during his rally speech the other day Romney said election day is November 7th. lol President Obama begged Congress to pass the Jobs Bill to build new roads and bridges and rebuild outdated roads and bridges and to create infrastructure jobs, had they listen to the President lives and homes could have been SAVED during hurricane Sandy. And let's not forget if Congress had passed the obs Bill there would be no shortage of search and rescue staff i.e. police, fireman etc. FORWARD Obama/Biden 2012, will finish the job and create more much needed jobs. God Bless America

    November 2, 2012 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  24. Dean

    Let me get this straight...since the news isn't as bad as it could be, that's good news? Right. Obama's policies are ruining this nation's economy. Four more years of this will be disasterous.

    November 2, 2012 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  25. Vote 2012

    Mitt create jobs in China and India, hids his money in offshore bank accounts, invest in voting machines in Ohio in his sons name and God knows where else and said he like firing people (on video). he specializes in corporate off shore jobs, November 6th don't forget those are the kind of jobs Mitt Romney will create, no help to much needed jobs in America. People please stop being stuck on stupid believing this warmonger man as the next leader of this Nation/the free world. He's a business man, he cannot run this country this nation like he run his corporations.

    November 2, 2012 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
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