Does the Oct. jobs report matter for the election?

By Stefanie

MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) -- As the clock ticks down in the final days of the Presidential election campaigns, Friday's October jobs report is one more prize both candidates hope will be on their side."The economy has become the number one issue in this campaign so I think the job numbers will have an impact," said Political Science Chair at the College of Charleston, Gibbs Knotts. "It's very close to the election so how much of an impact they will have remains to be seen.""With the storm and with Sandy that has been in the news so whether the job numbers move the hurricane out of the headlines remain to be seen, I'm doubtful though."Knotts says it's not so much about the actual numbers that came out Friday morning, but more about the trend and the spin."I think it's the trend -- is there improvement, is the economy getting better? That puts Romney in a position to say it isn't improving fast enough but the President is able to say the economy is improving," Knotts said. " So you can expect to see that playing out over the last few days."The Labor Department released October jobs report at 8:30 Friday morning. September's jobs report showed unemployment had dropped 7.8 percent to 8.1 percent.

According to the latest report for October, Total non-farm payroll employment increased by 171,000 in October, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 7.9 percent."It looks like it is a slight improvement maybe pretty steady and no dramatic improvement but getting below that 8 percent from the last time the numbers were released was a good psychological barrier that helped the President a little bit"

You can see the total report for October here.{}South Carolina's October jobs report is expected to come out later in the month.

*Sandra Ecklund contributed to this report