171,000 new jobs provides mild boost to Obama

Unemployment rate up 0.1%

The final US employment report before the election has been released, and it significantly beats expectations. 171,000 new jobs have been created, versus an expected 125,000, and both August and September's reports have also been revised up.

However, the unemployment rate has risen by 0.1 percentage points to 7.9 per cent as more people return to the labour market.

As ever, the important caveat remains that the job figures are ±100,000 and the unemployment rate is ±0.2 per cent.

Overall, the news is modestly helpful to Obama, but not a game-changer. If anything, it cements quite how much the narrative of the election has been flipped by the arrival of Hurricane Sandy, with the economic narrative looking less important than it has for quite some time.

The president. Photograph: Getty Images

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

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