There is one more jobs report due before Election Day. It is scheduled to be released this Friday, giving the candidates about four days to play up or dismiss the numbers. However, the Labor Department says it may not release the report on time... citing difficulties due to Hurricane Sandy.
As noted in the Wall Street Journal, the Labor Department "has yet to make a decision on whether to delay Friday's closely-watched October employment report due to the effects from Hurricane Sandy."
Federal government offices in Washington are closed Monday and may be shut again Tuesday due to the storm. It isn't clear if the closure would cause a delay in processing the data.
"We will assess the situation when the weather emergency is over and notify the press and public of any changes at that time," said Gary Steinberg, spokesman for the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the data arm of the department.
The Labor Department is also scheduled to release its third quarter employment cost index Wednesday, and the third quarter productivity and weekly jobless claims reports Thursday.
Last month's report showed the unemployment rate at 7.8% with even more people stopping their search for work or taking part-time employment.
Barack Obama's chief mouthpiece David Axelrod said that even if the report is bad (like most of them have been during Obama's tenure), it won't help Mitt Romney.
Romney's various reasons for confidence include the belief that "bad jobs number Friday could give final lift," as Politico's Mike Allen noted in the Playbook.
"That is kind of a perverse sentiment," Axelrod said in response on a conference call today. "I think they're going to be disappointed."
News to Axelrod... people do care about jobs, and they are deeply disappointed on the job Obama has done on the economy. Hopefully, the Labor Department will do its job and produce the report on time.