U.S. Job Gains Strongest in Seven Months

U.S. Job Gains Strongest in Seven Months (Reuters)

New U.S. jobs soared at the sharpest rate in seven months in October, the government reported on Friday, helped by a surge in construction activity as hurricane-battered areas in the Southeast were rebuilt. A surprisingly strong 337,000 jobs were added to payrolls last month — twice the 169,000-job growth that Wall Street economists had forecast and the strongest since March when 353,000 jobs were created, the Labor Department said.

Still, the unemployment rate edged up to 5.5 percent from 5.4 percent in September, but that was because more people joined the search for employment, a potentially hopeful sign. Not only was October a strong month but the number of jobs created in the two prior months was revised up — to 139,000 in September instead of 96,000 and to 198,000 in August instead of 128,000.

But for 100,000-odd votes in Ohio, Bush could have suffered the ironic fate of his father: Losing an election on the basis of misperception of a weak economy during an actual boom. The signs are good for a huge economic expansion in the second term.

And, no, I’m not changing my tune on this: President Bush is affecting this only at the margins. But he sure got blamed for a bad economy that was largely out of his control; he might as well enjoy unjust praise for a good economy.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2004, Economics and Business
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

NEWS?

The power is out in a lot of cities that I don’t live in. Now, I understand why this is a big deal. On the other hand, it’s not THAT big a deal. Basically, it’s out. They know why it’s out. They’re working on it. Why do we need 9/11-style wall-to-wall coverage on this on every TV and radio station in the country?

More to the point, why must I miss the Simpsons re-run that I watch from 6-6:30 until the interesting part of Fox Special Report comes on? For this:

Reporter 1: Man, it’s sure dark here in New York at 6 in the evening when you’re underground and there’s no power.

Anchor: Wow! Is it dark?

Reporter: Yes. Very dark. And, it’s a little hot, too, because the air conditioning is out.

Anchor: Wow! Thanks Reporter 1! Let’s now turn to Reporter 2, live in Cleveland!

Reporter 2: Man, it’s sure dark here in Cleveland at 5 in the evening. We’re apparently having a total solar eclipse, plus the power’s out.

Anchor: Wow! Is it dark?

Reporter: Yes. Very dark. And, it’s a little hot, too, because the air conditioning is out. And the computers are out, too! Apparently, they all run on power.

Anchor: I did not know that!

FILED UNDER: Media
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. And I’m missing Kudlow & Cramer. And I may be their only viewer…

  2. jen says:

    Part of it is that the media is HQed in NYC.

    I was having similar thoughts as the time approached 8pm, thinking that The Amazing Race would be pre-empted. And then I got a phone call from my mother at 7:45pm – she had just talked to my brother-in-law, who had(s) no idea where my sister is – she doesn’t have a working cell phone with her – and can’t get in touch with their daycare center.

    I’m blogging while I await a phone call assuring me that they are all home, safe. Somehow, my TV show didn’t seem as important knowing that my sister is somewhere in a very dark NYC, trying to get to New Jersey (with no mode of transportation, they take public transit), her husband, daughter, and pets – home, where there’s no electricity.

  3. James Joyner says:

    No, it’s obviously a serious situation for those involved. Of course, most of them can’t watch it on television since, well, they have no power!

    I caught the president’s comments on this a few minutes ago at the gym.

  4. Jay Solo says:

    Heh. You didn’t have to stretch that very much to make it funny, sadly enough.

  5. joy says:

    Well, here’s hoping that everyone is safe and sound.

    On a more serious note, Paula Zahn’s hair definitely looks horrible sans hairdryer. Just though I’d mention it.

  6. James Joyner says:

    Meow.

  7. Paul says:

    Hey—

    I just want to go one record as saying that if we had elected Al Gore he would have seen this coming and held the generator together with this superhuman powers.

    Paul

    If you don’t get the joke, you should read this blog more often.