Two new reports on the state of unemployment came out this morning, but given their non-shocking results, it seems that the jobs picture is unlikely to shake up the election's final days. Weekly unemployment claims dropped slightly compared to last week, down 9,000 to 363,000. That followed the monthly ADP report, which is generally a preview of the official government numbers that are due on Friday. ADP said jobs were up by 158,000 in October, just beating out estimates.
Jobless claims have remained remained pretty consistent all year, while the number of new jobs created has inched steadily upward. So today's numbers suggests that the October jobs report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics will not hold any surprises. Political pundits have been pointing to Friday's report for months, believing the final unemployment number released just days before the election could have a powerful impact on undecided voters. Given the consistent pattern of the last few months, however, voters are unlikely to learn anything they don't already know. (And there aren't that many undecided voters left anyway.)
Plus, economists can't really get excited about either number given that neither takes into account the effect of Hurricane Sandy on hiring. By the time anyone learns the true impact of this week's disaster the election will be long over.