Friday morning’s unemployment report found that the American economy added 171,000 jobs in October and the unemployment rate ticked up slightly from 7.8 percent to 7.9. The jobs growth — which beat the expectations of most economists — continued a trend of 32 months of job growth under the Obama administration. Significantly, the number of jobs created in August was revised up from 142,000 to 192,000, and September was revised up from 114,000 to 148,000. Underemployment also fell slightly to 14.6 percent.
Interestingly, Fox News viewers would think that the positive numbers are a political liability for the president. As the numbers came out at 8:30 AM, Fox — along with several other news networks — ran a misleading chyron displaying the small increase in the unemployment rate, without mentioning the growth in raw jobs or explaining that the rate ticked up because October’s job gains pulled more than half a million people into the labor force. By 9:00 AM, anchor Stuart Varney analyzed the political impact of the report and predicted that Romney would benefit from the administration’s economic recovery:
BILL HAMMER (HOST): How does this play politically?
VARNEY: It should play in favor of Governor Romney, President Obama will probably say, I haven’t gotten his official response, he will probably say the economy is expanding. It is going in the right direction. We need more time for number of new jobs we really need but we’re going in the right direction. Governor Romney will almost certainly respond we’re not growing fast enough. We could do a whole lot better without going into all this debt.
Indeed, Fox’s analysis closely mirrored Romney’s, who claimed that “Today’s increase in the unemployment rate is a sad reminder that the economy is at a virtual standstill.” 5.4 million private sector jobs have been created under Obama’s presidency.