This Day On The Street
Continue to site
ADVERTISEMENT
This account is pending registration confirmation. Please click on the link within the confirmation email previously sent you to complete registration.
Need a new registration confirmation email? Click here

Jobs Doom or Boom for Obama? Neither

"What the vote equation suggests is that if the economy has been growing at the time of the election, even though the level of the unemployment rate may still be above full employment, then voters take that as a positive sign," Fair said.

Conceivably, Romney can't continue to ignore or brush aside declining unemployment rates, as it is a crucial component voters use to make a presidential pick. Conversely, the Obama campaign can't rely on one or two months of better-than-expected results to win the majority of the electorate.

"But it's not just one month, it's the growth rate over the whole year that matters," Fair said. "So, if this kind of growth rate continued over the entire year, or up until the election, then of course that would be a positive for Obama , but just one month is not enough to be able to say too much."

Returning to the hard jobs numbers, it's also important for voters to dig further to get a fuller sense of what they mean.

Labor-force participation rates, for example, have an effect month to month. After two successive surprise months, (December unemployment dropped to 8.5% and then January unemployment dropped to 8.3%) Weiman said it could motivate those people who haven't actively sought employment to re-enter the market. This influx could cause an uptick in unemployment numbers as more people would have leaped back into the work-finding process, thus inflating the total number of employment seekers, while the same number of job openings would have remained the same.

"What you want to say is that there is job growth, and that's important sign of economic expansion, but is it robust enough to start whittling away at the -- it's like this huge stock, huge number of unemployed or underemployed individuals," Weiman said. "And the answer is it looks like no, because December you still saw people leaving the labor market."

Working age adults not participating in the labor force in January, increased by 88,000 . Translation for Obama's re-election hopes? Wait and see.

-- Written by Joe Deaux in New York.

>Contact by Email.

2 of 3

Check Out Our Best Services for Investors

Action Alerts PLUS

Portfolio Manager Jim Cramer and Director of Research Jack Mohr reveal their investment tactics while giving advanced notice before every trade.

Product Features:
  • $2.5+ million portfolio
  • Large-cap and dividend focus
  • Intraday trade alerts from Cramer
Quant Ratings

Access the tool that DOMINATES the Russell 2000 and the S&P 500.

Product Features:
  • Buy, hold, or sell recommendations for over 4,300 stocks
  • Unlimited research reports on your favorite stocks
  • A custom stock screener
Stocks Under $10

David Peltier uncovers low dollar stocks with serious upside potential that are flying under Wall Street's radar.

Product Features:
  • Model portfolio
  • Stocks trading below $10
  • Intraday trade alerts
14-Days Free
Only $9.95
14-Days Free
To begin commenting right away, you can log in below using your Disqus, Facebook, Twitter, OpenID or Yahoo login credentials. Alternatively, you can post a comment as a "guest" just by entering an email address. Your use of the commenting tool is subject to multiple terms of service/use and privacy policies - see here for more details.
Submit an article to us!
SYM TRADE IT LAST %CHG
AAPL $124.75 0.00%
FB $80.78 0.00%
GOOG $524.05 0.00%
TSLA $206.79 0.00%
YHOO $44.45 0.00%

Markets

DOW 17,826.30 -279.47 -1.54%
S&P 500 2,081.18 -23.81 -1.13%
NASDAQ 4,931.8150 -75.9760 -1.52%

Partners Compare Online Brokers

Free Reports

Top Rated Stocks Top Rated Funds Top Rated ETFs