The Washington Post

The jobs report comes out today, and it still matters (a lot)

At 8:30 a.m. (or so), the Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its November report, detailing the unemployment rate and the number of jobs the economy created (or lost) for the month.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release its November jobs report this morning.

Unlike during the heat of the 2012 election -- a.k.a. a month ago -- the announcement won't launch a million tweets or a series of pieces analyzing what it all means for the election. (Worth noting: The relative health of the economy mattered less than many of us thought it might in determining the outcome of the election.)

While the heat surrounding this morning's announcement is nowhere near what it was, say, two months ago, that doesn't mean that today's report doesn't matter. It does.

The jobs report will land smack dab in the middle of the negotiations over the fiscal cliff, which remain largely stuck at the moment.

A report that showed job growth improving and the unemployment rate dropping would further strengthen President Obama's negotiating position with House Republicans.  A disappointing report -- unemployment over 8 percent, slow or no job growth -- would hand Republicans some (badly needed) leverage to make the argument that now is not the time to be raising taxes on anyone -- up to and including those who make $250,000 or more a year.

What will we get? According to Gallup's monthly employment survey, the latter scenario appears more likely. Gallup shows seasonal unemployment up to 8.3 percent, almost a full one point increase from October.

Here's the Gallup unemployment rate trend line:

No matter what the BLS report says, it will impact how the two parties position themselves for the final few weeks of the fiscal cliff fight. The election may be over, but the politics of the economy still matter -- a lot. 

Romney raised $86 million in final weeks: Mitt Romney's presidential campaign raised nearly $86 million during the final weeks of the 2012 campaign, according to a report filed Thursday evening.

The campaign had $24.4 million cash on hand as of Nov. 26, but says its expenses are still being paid off and that it will have less than $1 million on hand when all is said and done.

Meanwhile, Obama's campaign had $5.4 million cash on hand and $7.2 million in debt.


Sen. Jim DeMint's (R-S.C.) parting shot at House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio): “I’m not with Boehner. ... This government doesn’t need any more money, this country needs less government.”

Former senator Judd Gregg (R-N.H.) hits back at DeMint: "People who want to govern do not subscribe to the views that Jim promoted in the Senate."

Democratic pollster Public Policy Polling is out with its first 2016 presidential poll, with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) having a slight lead on the GOP side and Hillary Clinton the runaway favorite on the Democratic side.

Bill Clinton says of his wife and 2016: "She's in great shape; she has unbelievable stamina."

Jeb Bush takes over for Bill as chairman of the National Constitution Center.

Sen. Marco Rubio's (R-Fla.) PAC pays a lot to consultants. To candidates? Not so much.


 "DeMint shook up the Senate but leaves a disenchanted GOP leadership" -- David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post 

"DeMint group's mixed win-loss record" -- Carrie Dann, NBC News

"Some in GOP urge lawmakers to back tax hikes for changes in safety-net programs" -- Lori Montgomery and Rosalind S. Helderman, Washington Post

"10 most delusional campaign moments" -- Lois Romano, Politico

"Jim DeMint and the death of think tanks" -- Ezra Klein, Washington Post

"Republicans Confront Democrat Edge in Tech Skills, Campaign Talent" -- Reid Wilson, National Journal

"Alaska: Future Swing State?" -- Nate Silver, New York Times

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Get Zika news by email

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Show Comments
The New Hampshire primary is Tuesday. Get caught up on the race.
New Hampshire primary: What to expect
New Hampshire will hold a traditional primary just eight days after the Iowa caucuses. Polling in the Granite state has historically been volatile in the final weeks before the primary. After the Iowa caucuses, many New Hampshire voters cement their opinions.
The Post's Ed O'Keefe says ...
Something has clicked for Bush in New Hampshire in the past few days. What has transpired by no means guarantees him a top-tier finish in Tuesday’s Republican primary here, but the crowds turning out to see him are bigger, his delivery on the stump is crisper and some of his key rivals have stumbled. At the least, the developments have mostly silenced talk of a hasty exit and skittish donors.
The feminist appeal may not be working for Clinton
In New Hampshire, Sen. Bernie Sanders is beating Clinton among women by eight percentage points, according to a new CNN-WMUR survey. This represents a big shift from the results last week in the Iowa caucuses, where Clinton won women by 11 points.
New Hampshire polling averages
Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in the next state to vote, but Marco Rubio has recently seen a jump in his support, according to polls.
New Hampshire polling averages
A victory in New Hampshire revitalized Hillary Clinton's demoralized campaign in 2008. But this time, she's trailing Bernie Sanders, from neighboring Vermont. She left the state Sunday to go to Flint, Mich., where a cost-saving decision led to poisonous levels of lead in the water of the poor, heavily black, rust-belt city. 
55% 40%
Upcoming debates
Feb. 11: Democratic debate

on PBS, in Wisconsin

Feb 13: GOP debate

on CBS News, in South Carolina

Feb. 25: GOP debate

on CNN, in Houston, Texas

Campaign 2016
State of the race

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.