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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Jobs Report Will Be Released Friday as Planned

Labor Report on Jobs to Arrive Friday on Schedule

WASHINGTON - The October jobs report - the most anticipated piece of economic data still to be released before the election - will come out as scheduled on Friday morning, the government said Wednesday.

The hurricane had shut down government offices on Monday and Tuesday, and threatened to delay the release of the monthly jobs numbers. That led to hand-wringing in the presidential campaigns and even some accusations that the Obama administration might delay the numbers for its political benefit.

But a Labor Department spokesman said Wednesday in an e-mail message that the report would come out as planned, at 8:30 a.m. E.S.T. on Friday.

Economists expect the jobs figures to show slow, steady employment growth, the product of an anemic but persistent recovery, with the unemployment rate remaining about where it is in the coming months, and employers expected to add workers too slowly to pull the overall jobless rate down further.

Last month, the unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent, the lowest since President Obama took office. Regardless of the results, the numbers will immediately become headline fodder for an Obama campaign looking to trumpet a 25th consecutive month of job growth and a Romney campaign looking to underscore the historical weakness of the recovery and the failure of Mr. Obama's economic policies.

Economists estimate that the report will show that the economy added around 100,000 jobs in October, though there is a large margin of error in any given report. Recently the economy has been adding jobs at a pace of about 90,000 a month.

Recent economic data has been mixed, with manufacturing and exports showing significant weakness but consumer spending and confidence on the rise.