US Jobs Numbers Add Another Issue To Campaign Fodder

US jobs numbers add another issue to campaign fodder

WASHINGTON, Nov 4 (Pakistan Point News - APP - 04th Nov, 2016 ) : When the US releases monthly job report Friday, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump will be on his way to New Hampshire, where the unemployment rate is tied for lowest in the nation. By the time Trump takes the stage, his campaign will have pored over the Labor Department statistics on hiring, wages and unemployment in October. While the report is expected to show continued job growth and lower unemployment, a disappointing result could bolster his claims of American decline.

The consensus among analysts is for an additional 170,000 jobs created in October and for the unemployment rate to drop a tenth of a point to 4.9 percent -- a result that would be the envy of many developed nations. The US economy this year has produced new jobs at an average of about 180,000 a month, with the unemployment rate holding firm at around 5 percent, as well as modest wage growth and productivity gains. But throughout the campaign, Trump has portrayed the US economy as hollowed-out ruin, whatever the official numbers.

In most of the states where next Tuesday's election outcome will be decided -- such as Ohio, Florida, North Carolina and Virginia -- the labor picture is even better than the national average. That could complicate Trump's efforts to use the jobs report in an effort to broaden his support in the final days of a tightening race. Barclays Research said it expects a 2.6 percent increase in wage growth compared to October 2015 as well as 175,000 net new jobs created.

That would "confirm ongoing strength in the labor market. The increase in payrolls, combined with the ongoing improvement in wages, should boost household income and keep consumption on track." But Dean Baker, co-founder of the Center for Economic and Policy Research, told AFP he expects the report will be comparatively somber, with only about 130,000 jobs created. "The logic I see is that we've had a lot of people who were willing to take very low-paying jobs because they had no alternative," he said. "That period is largely over." Timothy Malloy of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said a downcast jobs report can only help the Republican candidate.