(Editor's note: The nation's unemployment rate in October rose to 7.9% (from 7.8% in Sept.) as the economy added 171,000 jobs. The Labor Department released the new numbers at 8:30 Friday morning.)
(CNSNews.com) - With four days until Election Day, the unemployment report coming out this morning takes on added significance -- either boosting President Obama's contention that the economy is improving, or suggesting that it is not.
But the Obama campaign says up or down, the October unemployment rate won't make much difference: "We also know that people at home are making their decisions based on where we take the economy from here," Jen Psaki, the traveling press secretary for the Obama campaign, told reporters on Thursday.
"We don't know what the numbers are. No one does," Psaki said. "Regardless of what they are, the President is still going to feel there’s more we need to do to help the economy recover at a faster rate, put more people back to work.
"As he says every day, and he’ll say today, until everybody who wants a job has a job, his job is not done. And that won’t change."
Speaking at a campaign stop in Wisconsin Thursday, President Obama said, "We’ve made real progress these past four years. But, Wisconsin, we know our work is not yet done. As long as there’s a single American who wants a job but can’t find one, our work isn’t done. As long as there are families who are working harder but falling behind, our work isn’t done. As long as there’s a child languishing in poverty, barred from opportunity, anywhere in this country, our work is not yet done."
Obama said while technology has made the nation more productive -- "it also made a lot of good jobs obsolete."
The September jobs report showed unemployment dropping to 7.8 percent, the first dip below 8 percent in Obama's presidency. However, the last incumbent president to face a jobless rate as high as 7.8 percent in October of an election year was Gerald Ford in his losing campaign against Jimmy Carter in 1976.