Blow out number this morning: Non-farm payrolls grew by 337,000 in October, the fastest pace in seven months, nearly triple September’s number, and way above the average forecast of economists (192,000 increase in payrolls).
The Labor Department also revised its estimates of payrolls growth for September and August. Employers added 198,000 jobs in August and 139,000 in September. Previous estimates had shown a 128,000 increase in August and a 96,000 increase in September.
The strong job growth drew previously discouraged workers back into the civilian labor force, expanding it by 367,000 to 147.9 million. The unemployment rate, as a result, rose a tenth of a percentage point to 5.5%. Most economists now expect jobs to grow at a pace of 200,000 a month for the remainder of the year, although the unemployment rate isn’t expected to fall much. When it rains, it pours . . .
Here’s Joshua Shapiro (Chief U.S. Economist of Maria Fiorini Ramirez):
"While this was a strong report in terms of job creation, we do not believe that it ought to be extrapolated into the future. With corporate profit margins under pressure from a lack of pricing power, higher commodity prices and slower productivity growth (resulting in faster gains in unit labor costs), it is likely that cost-control will remain a key business strategy. It is thus unlikely that rapid payroll growth will be sustained on a trend basis until some pricing power returns to the corporate sector and profit margins can therefore be maintained even if hiring accelerates. Moreover, a payroll increase of 337K is stronger than indicated by other labor market evidence (jobless claims, consumer confidence/sentiment, etc.), which is also reason not to take this number and run too far with it."
U.S. Nonfarm Payrolls Increase by 337,000
By JOSEPH REBELLO and PAULETTE CHU
DOW JONES NEWSWIRES November 5, 2004 9:11 a.m.
The very excellent On-line WSJ has an interesting round up of editorial reactions around the world to the re-election of President George W. Bush. Papers like Pakistan’s Nation and the Lebanon Daily Star saw Mr. Bush’s win as strengthening his apparent go-it-alone approach. But some editorial writers urged Mr. Bush to try to make more effort to cooperate with the international community.
It is a revolution of which the consequences will endure longer than the “hangover” of criticism coming from the rest of the world, including France. … It was truly America that made its choice in the person of this Texan by adoption: a populist, mostly suburban or rural, fundamentally nationalist America. Preoccupied above all by its security and focused on the fundamental values of its Christian religion, the two core motivations of the Bush vote. … A new reactionary majority, rallied around Bush by a law-and-order reflex in a time of war has cemented its grip on democracy in America. The rest of the world can deplore it, but it must adapt itself to this reality.
* * *
Times of London, Britain
Bush Has an Exceptional Opportunity — He Must Seize It
The paradox of Mr Bush’s endorsement at the polls is that he is now free of the constraints imposed by voters. He should consider this a liberation and an extraordinary opportunity. He can serve one more four-year term in Washington and has the capacity to shape his legacy like few American politicians before him. He must seize that chance. He can advance an imaginative agenda for himself and his party. … Even if Mr Bush were to do all this and more, there would still be some who belittle him or doubt the sincerity of his motives. That is unfortunate. The President should not waste time trying to appease or win over those who have no time for him. There is the chance, perhaps, that with the passage of time the qualities which Americans see in this politician will become more obvious to others. Mr Bush must exploit the prominence that he has been given for four more years.
Way way back in January, we looked at the question Who’s got juice?
Who influenced coverage the most in the 2004 campaign? There is no doubt that the Media’s coverage of the very close 2000 campaign influenced the outcome; There is perhaps some doubt as to the mass media’s impact on this election. The absence of any of bloggers — especially Markos, Glenn, Eschaton, Andrew, Wonkette, Kevin, Josh, James, Eric — make the entire list suspect.
Regardless, lets take another look at that list (via Newsday) and see how well those old media predictions stacked up:
“Influence can be shaped by new technology (blogging) or old (Rush Limbaugh’s dittoheads). It can rise with the sun (“Today”) or set after dark (“Tonight”). It can get out the votes (Tom Joyner) or effectively convince people why voting is an exercise in utter futility (Jon Stewart). It skews young or old, black or white, Hispanic or Anglo, male or female, rich or poor.
Influence, in other words, is often just a strange and bewildering reflection of our strange and bewildering media landscape that has been balkanized along racial, economic and demographic lines. The consequence of all this noise jostling for our attention is that each of us seeks solace – and most of our information – from just a few sources, and not necessarily the more traditional ones.