Given that today’s new jobs report is the last report we’ll see before Election Day, there’s arguably a little more interest than usual in the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics report. And in this case, the figures offer good economic news for the American people, and good political news for President Obama.
The U.S. economy created 171,000 jobs in October, far more than expected, while American businesses created 184,000 jobs – the best month for the private sector since February.
The overall unemployment rate ticked slightly higher, to 7.9%, but that’s the result of a positive trend – more Americans entered the workforce, which is exactly what we’d hope to see in an improving economy.
Even more encouraging, the new report revised job totals from August and September, and both were updated in a good direction, adding a combined 84,000.
For context, I’d note that so far in 2012 (which still has two months to go), the economy has created over 1.56 million jobs, which is already better than five of the eight years of the Bush/Cheney era.
Above you’ll find the chart I run on the first Friday of every month, showing monthly job losses since the start of the Great Recession. The image makes a distinction – red columns point to monthly job totals under the Bush administration, while blue columns point to job totals under the Obama administration.
Update: Here’s another chart, this one showing monthly job losses/gains in just the private sector since the start of the Great Recession.