Friday, September 7, 2012

All eyes turn to the jobs numbers

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- The Republican and Democratic conventions are over; now, all eyes turn to Friday's monthly jobs report.

Every monthly jobs report has major ramifications for the presidential campaign, but none has been so significant as the one that will be released today at 8:30 a.m., on the heels of President Barack Obama's convention speech. "I don't think there's ever been a more important jobs number, politically, than this one," one pro-Romney Wall Street source told POLITICO's Ben White earlier this week.

Wall Street will be watching the net change in jobs, but for voters nothing matters more than the unemployment rate, which currently stands at 8.3%. Never in this campaign season has the difference between 8.2%, 8.3%, and 8.4% been so significant.

If the unemployment rate stays at 8.3%, or shoots up to 8.4%, watch for news outlets to put more emphasis on the "President Obama asks for patience" narrative when analyzing his convention speech. If the unemployment rate drops to 8.2% -- needless to say, that benefits Obama.

Bloomberg's consensus numbers anticipate an unchanged rate at 8.3%, with 130,000 jobs gained in non-farm payrolls. White also notes that Thursday's data "suggests today might surprise to the upside." No matter what, it's certainly hard to imagine that the number will leave the 8.2%-8.4% range.

For this interested in more, follow Business Insider's Joe Weisenthal and check out White's Morning Money newsletter.

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