Will the Obama Labor Department Use the Storm to Delay This Week's Jobs Numbers? (Updated)

The Wall Street Journal reports:

The U.S. Labor Department on Monday said it hasn’t made a decision yet on whether to delay Friday’s October jobs report, the final reading on the labor market before next week’s federal elections.

A Labor official said the agency will assess the schedule for all its data releases this week when the “weather emergency” is over.

Labor is scheduled to release the employment report on Friday, third quarter employment costs on Wednesday and weekly jobless claims on Thursday.


“…hasn’t made a decision yet…” Hm.

Both the Obama and Romney campaigns have suspended campaign activity today. The Obama campaign, though, took a veiled swipe at Romney during this morning’s media conference call, when Jim Messina said that the president is suspending activity because as president he has “real work to do.”

As if Barack Obama is the first president for whom there are tasks beyond campaigning that must be performed.

Update: Was the statement a trial balloon? Fox reports that Labor now says it will release the numbers on Friday as usual.

Update: Hmmmm.

NRO’s Eliana Johnson picked up on an interesting moment during yesterday’s This Week on ABC.  George Stephanopoulos asked former Obama administration economist Austan Goolsbee about the political impact of the jobs report coming up this Friday, just four days before most voters cast their ballots.  Goolsbee notes that only “unbelievable outliers … crack through the shell” of the electorate’s consciousness for a single-month’s report.  Goolsbee then admits that last month’s jobs report was “artificially too optimistic” — an “unbelievable outlier,” in other words.

So why admit that now?  Well, that “unbelievable outlier” is likely to get corrected in this month’s household survey, and that will drive the jobless rate up.




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