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.

Photo: Getty Images/Carl Court
Show Hide image

Nigel Farage: welcoming refugees will lead to "migrant tide" of jihadists

Ukip's leader Nigel Farage claims that housing refugees will allow Isis to smuggle in "jihadists".

Nigel Farage has warned that granting sanctuary to refugees could result in Britain being influenced by Isis. 

In remarks that were immediately condemned online, the Ukip leader said "When ISIS say they will flood the migrant tide with 500,000 of their own jihadists, we'd better listen", before saying that Angela Merkel, the German Chancellor, had done something "very dangerous" in attempting to host refugees, saying that she was "compounding the pull factors" that lead migrants to attempt the treacherous Mediterranean crossing.

Farage, who has four children, said that as a father, he was "horrified" by the photographs of small children drowned on a European beach, but said housing more refugees would simply make the problem worse. 

The Ukip leader, who failed for the fifth successive occassion to be elected as an MP in May, said he welcomed the prospect of a Jeremy Corbyn victory, describing it as a "good result". Corbyn is more sceptical about the European Union than his rivals for the Labour leadership, which Farage believes will provide the nascent Out campaign with a boost. 

 

Stephen Bush is editor of the Staggers, the New Statesman’s political blog.