This is likely not how Bush was hoping to go into tonight’s debate:

Nonfarm payroll employment continued to trend upward in September, increasing
by 96,000, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.4 percent, the Bureau of
Labor Statistics of the U.S. Department of Labor reported today. Over the prior
3 months, payroll employment rose by 103,000 on average. In September, modest
job gains occurred in a few service-providing industries.

As Morgan Stanley’s Chief Economist observes:

This is a weak number, no matter how you cut it…That’s a pathetic pace of job creation by corporate America…If you look at jobs growth over the 34 months of this recovery, then private payroll growth is up about four-tenths of 1 percent over the entire span of this recovery. Normally, the gains are closer to 8 percent, so there is a profound disconnect between this jobless recovery and anything we have ever seen before in post-World War II history in a U.S. business cycle.

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