Each month, the Labor Department issues an employment report. On Friday, that report showed job creation rose in October — and it revealed something more.
With its latest unemployment assessment, the government in effect took a BEFORE snapshot of the U.S. economy. It collected all of the data before Superstorm Sandy slammed into the East Coast and before the election outcome could be known. Each of those two events has the potential to change the AFTER outlook.
In the U.S., Thanksgiving marks the unofficial start of the race to Christmas (unless you happen to decorate department stores, then it starts in October). But in Denmark, the Christmas race starts tonight.
This is TELL ME MORE, from NPR News. I'm Michel Martin. Later in the program, Superstorm Sandy might've turned out the lights along the East Coast, but Twitter was ablaze with comments. We want to talk about the good, the bad and the ugly that Sandy brought out on social media. We'll have that conversation in a few minutes.
It's MORNING EDITION from NPR News. I'm Renée Montagne.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
And I'm Steve Inskeep. It's a busy Friday morning before the election. Around 8:30 Eastern Time the government releases the final monthly snapshot of the job market before the election.
MONTAGNE: Last month the unemployment rate dropped to 7.8 percent, the lowest in years. This month analysts expect the number may tic up again, though a separate survey may show another net gain in total people employed.
MONTAGNE: Chrysler is again in the news. Today it's not for political reasons, but because the Detroit automaker is selling cars, a lot of them. Chrysler had it best October sales in five years. And Automotive magazine has named Chrysler's CEO its man of the year.
STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:
NPR's Sonari Glinton reports.
SONARI GLINTON, BYLINE: When auto industry people talk about Chrysler's CEO Sergio Marchionne, they tend to gush.
The produce aisle may not yet be restocked at the Stop & Shop in Toms River, N.J., and other perishables may still be hard to come by. But rest assured, the local pizza joint is hopping.
"We've been busy, very busy," says Marissa Henderson, granddaughter of the proprietor of Geno D's pizzeria in Toms River. It was one of the few restaurants open in the area in the wake of the hurricane that rolled through earlier this week.
Lower Manhattan continues to slog through another day without electricity, and it's taking a toll on businesses that have been shuttered since the storm hit. No electricity means no lights, no credit card machines, no heating and no refrigerators to keep food fresh, so local shops and restaurants are waiting desperately for the power to turn back on.