One month away from the US presidential election, an announcement this Friday on the state of unemployment is expected to influence campaigning.
Economists expect a weak to moderate figure on jobs created. Some estimate that 113,000 people were hired in September, up from 96,000 the month before. However, the unemployment rate last month is still in the area of more than eight percent.
The labour market is still shaky was the impression at a job agency we went to in Washington.
Job-seeker Christopher Major said: “They had me come in to the office here today, which went pretty well. I might be getting the job that I really, really want.”
Another visiter to the agency, Flolita Davis said: “I have been unemployed now for two years. It has been very tough.”
Experts say that hiring is not robust enough to absorb new job-seekers. After more than three decades of shrinking, the US labour force has been growing since August.
We went to talk to the jobs department head in the capital.
Lisa Maria Mallory, Director of the District of Columbia Department of Employment, said:
“The troubling trend is really among the youth. And we have seen in excess of 40 percent unemployment among youth, and that is disconcerting.”
Employers seem wary of taking new people on, waiting to see the outcome of the presidential poll in November.
Mallory said: “You see the markets and what is going on, there is growth, but not as much growth and opportunity. But hopefully, I think, we will stabilise once the election is over.”
To get back to the same level as before the 2007-2009 recession, the American economy has to generate jobs for 4.7 million people.
Unemployment has been causing some to have flashbacks of the Great Depression.
Our Washington correspondent Stefan Grobe said: “As the presidential campaign is on its home stretch, the consistently high unemployment should make the case for Mitt Romney and against Barack Obama. No president has ever been re-elected with a jobless rate higher than eight percent. But apparently we are living in totally different times.”