Unemployment Rises to 7.9%

Last month’s jobs report was controversial, with questions about its methodology followed by a substantial downward revision. There were concerns that the Obama administration might pull some monkey business with today’s report, the last significant economic news before the election. But that apparently didn’t happen. The report wasn’t all bad, but all that really matters is that the unemployment rate ticked back up to 7.9%. So it will be apparent to everyone who pays attention that the economy is mired in the same lousy rut it has occupied for the last four years, and Obama will not be able to argue that some sort of breakthrough is in progress. Mitt Romney issued this statement:

Today’s increase in the unemployment rate is a sad reminder that the economy is at a virtual standstill. The jobless rate is higher than it was when President Obama took office, and there are still 23 million Americans struggling for work. On Tuesday, America will make a choice between stagnation and prosperity. For four years, President Obama’s policies have crushed America’s middle class. For four years, President Obama has told us that things are getting better and that we’re making progress. For too many American families, those words ring hollow. We can do better. We can have real economic growth, create millions of good-paying jobs, and give middle-class families the security and opportunity they deserve. 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.