We're four years into a recovery that began in the second half of 2009, yet unemployment is still highly elevated, and job growth is once again decelerating. There should be no question that fiscal drag and general political dysfunction continues to hurt working families.
America's older workforce experienced a dip in unemployment in October (5.8 percent compared to 5.9 percent in September for those aged 55-plus). Monthly unemployment figures tend to generate a lot of interest, but they often don't tell much of a story.
In some ways, the tragic events in the Northeast from Hurricane Sandy and discussions around the upcoming fiscal cliff are likely to overshadow this lackluster jobs report as it generally just showed things are improving, albeit slowly.
Regarding the election, this news isn't likely to have much of an impact. There are very few undecided voters left and as this change was no shocker in either direction, it won't likely change any minds right or left.
Given the acceleration in payroll growth, the upward revisions to prior months payroll gains, the trend decline in unemployment, and the pick-up in labor force participation, today's report is generally pointing to job market that's showing signs of improvement.