At the end of the day the main statistic is 7.9 percent, the BLS measure of those remaining in the labor market but unable to find jobs. The number was 7.6 percent when Obama took office in January 2009. Here's the New York Times' spin, "Modest Job Growth in Final Report Before Election" (via Memeorandum), but see Fox News, "Last jobs report before election shows economy in 'virtual standstill'":
The final monthly jobs report before Election Day offered a mixed bag of economic evidence that quickly became political putty for the presidential candidates, with the unemployment rate ticking up to 7.9 percent but the economy adding a better-than-expected 171,000 jobs.James Pethokoukis has an analysis, "Is this as good as it gets? | October’s dismal ‘New Normal’ jobs report":
At the same time, the number of unemployed grew by 170,000, roughly the same amount -- to 12.3 million.
The October numbers allow President Obama to argue the economy is technically growing under his watch. But they also allow Mitt Romney to argue that the new jobs are not making much of a dent in the unemployment problem. Both campaigns quickly set to work putting their spin on data that, if nothing else, underscores the slow pace of the recovery.
"That's 9 million jobs short of what (Obama) promised," Romney said at a rally in Wisconsin shortly before noon. "Unemployment is higher today than when Barack Obama took office."
The rate was 7.8 percent the month Obama took office. "Today's increase in the unemployment rate is a sad reminder that the economy is at a virtual standstill," Romney said in a separate written statement. "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."
1. If we suddenly had a string of months where job growth was the same as in October, it would take 7 more years — until 2019 ! — to get back to the Bush unemployment low of 4.4%. Even if we averaged 210,000 jobs a month, we wouldn’t close jobs gap until 2021.More at the link. And see Gateway Pundit, "October Unemployment Jumps to 7.9% – Making Obama Worst Jobs President Since Great Depression."
2. We are now 41 months into the recovery, and we have recovered just 55% of the 8.9 million lost private sector jobs from the Great Recession. During the Reagan recovery, it took just 10 months.
3. Back in early 2009, White House economists Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein predicted the unemployment rate would be 5.2% in October 2012 if Congress passed the $800 billion stimulus. As the above chart shows, they weren’t even close.
We're stuck in the middle of the Obama Depression. The administration's economic recovery programs have failed to revive the economy. Frankly, economic growth would have returned just as fast --- perhaps even faster --- without Obama's economic stimulus and the drag of the ObamaCare monstrosity. What growth and recovery we're seeing reflects the resilience of the economy despite the heavy hand of Democrat Party regulation. If Mitt Romney's elected we'll have a much better chance of jump-starting more robust economic growth and employment activity.
We'll know for sure in four more days, barring Democrat Party elector rat-f-king.
More at Memeorandum.
Cartoon Credit. William Warren.