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October Jobs Report: Positive Economic Signs, Zero Political Implications

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BOSTON (CBS) – With just four days to go before the presidential election, Friday’s jobs numbers are getting more attention than usual.

The U.S. Labor Department announced that employers added 170,000 jobs in October.

And because of an increase in people looking for jobs, the unemployment rate bumped up slightly from 7.8 percent to 7.9 percent.

The report shows the job market continues to improve after stalling in the spring. And the gains could be seen across various industries.

It also shows continuing signs of weakness in the economy. The number of unemployed increased by 170,000 to 12.3 million.

President Obama is going into election with the highest unemployment rate of any incumbent since Franklin D. Roosevelt. The president is using the report to boost his record on jobs, while Mitt Romney says more work can be done.

“Today our businesses have created nearly five-and-a-half million new jobs. And this morning we learned that companies hired more workers in October than at any time in the last 8 months,” Obama said Friday.

“I won’t spend my effort trying to pass partisan legislation that’s unrelated to economic growth. From day one, I’ll work to help Americans get back to work,” Romney said.

Both Democrats and Republicans are hoping the report helps sway voters to their respective sides.

But WBZ-TV Political Analyst Jon Keller says the new numbers probably won’t change any minds.

“Even the undecided voters know how they feel about the economy and aren’t going to look at these numbers and say, ‘Oh my, the whole universe has changed,’” Keller said.

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