Jobless numbers in Europe affecting U.S. economy, possibly election
The Kansas City Star
The double-digit and growing jobless rate in Europe is affecting the United States, and that has to worry people backing President Barack Obama’s re-election hopes.
General Motors saw its third quarter earnings drop by 14 percent because of larger losses in Europe, The New York Times reports. Ford announced last month that it was closing three plants in Europe to try to arrest financial losses.
Unemployment in the 17-nation Eurozone increased from 11.5 percent to 11.6 percent in August, wiping out a lot of people’s appetite for extras such as cars. The jobless rate is more than 25 percent in Spain.
The U.S. Labor Department on Friday will release unemployment numbers for this country for October. The data could help determine the outcome of the presidential and congressional elections.
The numbers will help Obama and the Democrats if they show continued improvement, falling from 8.3 percent in August to 7.8 percent in September. That 7.8 percent was the lowest the jobless rate has been in Obama’s presidency.
If the unemployment numbers tick up, they will likely help Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney and GOP House and Senate candidates.
A lot of the races are so close that a small tick either way in the jobless numbers could make a big difference in the election outcome. This could be the infamous October surprise — or at least one of them.