Favorable Jobs Omen for Obama

Photograph by Patrick Fallon/Bloomberg

Workers at a construction site in Rancho Cucamonga, California.

President Barack Obama heads into his marquee convention speech tonight with more than just the nationally televised blessing of his economic record that former President Bill Clinton provided last night.

This morning, a closely watched private report offered a favorable omen for the job market.

ADP Employer Services, a private payroll processing company, reported that private companies added 201,000 jobs in August, easily exceeding the 140,000 consensus estimate that economists anticipated.

The monthly official government figures on joblessness are due to be released tomorrow morning, providing a reality check on the election’s overriding issue just as Democrats disperse from their national convention in Charlotte. While the ADP report provides an insight into the job market, it isn’t always a perfect predictor.

The ADP figure is “good news for the economy if it turns out to be correct,” Joel Naroff, president of Naroff Economic Advisors Inc. in Holland, Pennsylvania, said in an e-mail to clients. “We may not be seeing a deluge of new jobs, but it clearly looks like firms are hiring again.”

Another report today showed fewer Americans than forecast filed applications for jobless benefits last week. Jobless claims dropped by 12,000 to 365,000 in the week ended Sept. 1, the lowest in a month, the Labor Department reported.


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