Jobs Report: U.S. Economy Added 171,000 Jobs


Friday's jobs report showed employment in construction increased in October but it still remains weak, Bronars said. Construction employment is down by one million since January 2009 and by more than 2 million since the pre-recession peak.

When comparing Hurricane Katrina with Sandy, Burtless said the short-term employment impact of the former was "terrible" because many people in the manufacturing, tourism and maritime industries suffered immediate job losses.

"During Hurricane Katrina, the economy was much more robust. This time around, construction is flat on its back. There are a lot of businesses who would want to know more business and a lot of workers who want to be hired," Burtless said.

Burtless also doubted that Friday's labor numbers will influence voters for a particular candidate.

October's report means the unemployment rate is higher than the 7.8 percent when President Obama was inaugurated in January 2009.

"My sense is that 98 percent of voters are people whose assessment of the president and challenger is mostly baked into the cake already," Burtless said. "They know what their own personal situation is. They know what their family and friends' situations are. To the degree that the economy affects their choice of incumbent or challenger, that has been determined."

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