The Jobs Report No One Will Notice

It’s the first Friday of the month. For much of the last two years, that was a political red-letter day, as writers and gabbers everywhere gathered virtually at 8:30 AM Eastern Time to receive and over-analyze the Monthly Jobs Report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Today I nearly forgot about it altogether until I saw a brief reference on Twitter. The report itself is superficially the kind of good news for the president that would have created enormous excitement in the chattering classes had it occurred before November 6: jobs are up 146,000, which is about double what most economists had expected, and even more significantly for political types, the unemployment rate (the one BLS statistic most regular people know about) dropped from 7.9% to 7.7%.

Look a little deeper and the report is not so unambiguously positive: the gains BLS reported in September and (especially) October have been revised downward. But like the relative stability of the stock market, it certainly does nothing to undercut the slow but steady increase in the president’s post-election public standing he’s been enjoying.

Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore, a Monthly contributing editor, is a columnist for the Daily Intelligencer, New York magazine’s politics blog, and the managing editor for the Democratic Strategist.