The October 2012 unemployment report was released this morning and despite Hurricane Sandy, all of the data needed to create the report was collected in a timely fashion and the report was released on schedule. The official unemployment rate for October 2012 came in at 7.9 percent, slightly higher than 7.8 percent from September 2012. Overall, nonfarm payroll employment grew by 171,000 new jobs.


According to a CNNMoney survey of economists, the expected job growth was 125,000 new positions and so this figure was a bit of welcome news. The higher than expected job growth as well as the revision of September’s job growth from +114,000 new jobs to +148,000 new jobs as well as August’s upward revision from +142,000 to +192,000 are signs that the pace of economic growth is picking up.


The professional and business services sector added 51,000 new jobs in October, including 7,000 new jobs in computer systems design. Other industries that posted an increase in jobs include health care (+31,000 jobs), retail trade (+36,000) and leisure and hospitality (+28,000).


This is the last unemployment report that will be released before Tuesday’s election and the political machine is already working to spin these figures in their favor. The headline on the homepage reads “’Virtual Standstill’: 171K New Jobs, 170K New Jobless.


"Today's increase in the unemployment rate is a sad reminder that the economy is at a virtual standstill," Romney said in a statement. "The jobless rate is higher than it was when President Obama took office, and there are still 23 million Americans struggling for work. ... 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."  Source:’s headline reads, “Boost in Hiring” and includes a graph of job growth over the past year. The same story can be seen as a positive or a negative, depending on your point of view and even your likely political affiliation.


As a consumer of news, all types of news from all types of outlets, the one thing I’m certain of is that I’m ready for November 6 to get here so that the nation can move beyond political generalizations and focus on specifics – including how, exactly, the nation can more rapidly recover from the Great Recession.


Photo: unk’s dump truck/Flickr

October 2012 unemployment rate is 7.9%
171,000 new jobs were added to the economy last month; September numbers were revised from+114,000 new jobs to +148,000 jobs.