If the economy is not sidetracked by the fiscal cliff, or some unforeseen natural disaster, it is on track to enter into the holiday season and New Year roaring like a tiger, rather than purring like a kitten.
Recent economic performance is a big boost to President Obama’s reelection bid, and the truth will be revealed by the midnight hour today.
The economy added 171,000 jobs in October, many more than analysts expected. The number of jobs added during the month of September was revised upward by 30%. The number of jobs created during the month of August was revised up by more than 50%. This means the economy has been adding almost 200,000 jobs over the last five months.
Although the unemployment rate increased slightly, from 7.8% to 7.9%, the increase was caused by 578,000 workers re-entering the labor market last month and 410,000 the month before that.
More importantly, consumer confidence and spending are up, productivity is up, auto sales are very strong and housing starts are gaining steam each month.
The unemployment rate increased significantly among blacks, but remained virtually unchanged for whites and Latinos. Among blacks increased from 13.4% to 14.3%. The increase in the black unemployment rate was caused by the large number who reentered the labor market. Specifically, while the labor force increased by 578,000 workers; 68% of that number (387,000) was attributable to blacks.
- Black unemployment rate: 14.3% in October and 13.4% in September
- White unemployment rate: 7.0% in October and 7.0% in September
- Latino unemployment rate: 10.0% in October and 9.9% in the September