Jobs growth returns to the forefront of the U.S. presidential campaign today as the Labor Department releases a report on unemployment and President Barack Obama wraps up a bus tour through two battleground states.
The monthly jobs report, due at 8:30 a.m. New York time, has taken on so much political significance amid voter discontent with the economy that it amounts to a regular “referendum” on the president, said Kathleen Hall Jamieson, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Annenberg School for Communication in Philadelphia.
“Once every month the public sees it as a signal of either the competence of the president or his failures,” Jamieson said. The Dow Jones Industrial Average (INDU) and “the unemployment rate are among the few things that voters can see over time as a continuing indicator that they understand.”
Private forecasters expect the Labor Department report will show employers added 100,000 new jobs last month, an improvement from 69,000 in May though still a slower pace than earlier this year, according to the median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg News.
UPDATE: One-third of June jobs were at temporary employment agencies.