Every four weeks between now and November, a single number issued from a spare, windowless room in the heart of the federal bureaucracy will set the battle lines for the presidential election.
The nation's monthly jobless rate — disclosed by the Bureau of Labor Statistics the first Friday of every month — is this year's dominant economic barometer. It's a baseline from which to gauge the political fortunes of President Barack Obama and Republican rival Mitt Romney in an election that rides on the pace of a post-recession recovery.
Friday's number will be the first since Mitt Romney clinched the Republican presidential nomination. It also comes as Obama heads for Minnesota to push his proposal to expand job opportunities for veterans and to raise money for his campaign. In the meantime, the world anxiously awaits the impact of the European debt crisis, which could stall the recovery in the U.S.
El dato de mayo se conocerá hoy a las 8:30 am. Los economistas esperan que se hayan creado 158,000 nuevos empleos y que la tasa se mantenga en el 8.1%. A partir de ahí, el juego de las expectativas superadas o defraudadas. Ningún Presidente moderno ha sido reelegido con una tasa de paro tan alta, ni con el paro creciendo.