The unemployment rate in October ticked up to 7.9% as more people entered the workforce to look for jobs. Those new job seekers were no doubt encouraged by the recent uptick in hiring, a trend that continued last month. According to the Labor Department, the economy added 171,000 jobs last month.
Princeton economist Alan Krueger, who chairs President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, says the report, coupled with other recent economic data, suggests the economy is continuing to heal. "For 32 months in a row now, we've added private sector jobs for a total of 5.4 million jobs," he says, "certainly we have a very deep hole to dig out of -- there is a lot more work to be done -- but I think there are signs of progress in this report."
Yet, Michael Boskin, a Stanford economist and current advisor to the Mitt Romney campaign, says October's numbers were "extremely mediocre", citing the increase in unemployment and the overall decrease in wages. "Job growth was barely above what's necessary to keep pace with the growth of the working age population," he says, "we're bumping along the bottom."