WASHINGTON — The Labor Department said it hopes to release October's unemployment report on Friday as scheduled, despite the closure of the federal government on Monday, and possibly additional days this week, because of Hurricane Sandy.
“The employees at the Bureau of Labor Statistics are working hard to ensure the timely release of employment data on Friday, Nov. 2," said Department of Labor spokesman Carl Fillichio. "It is our intention that Friday will be business as usual regarding the October Employment Situation report.”
The report on October's unemployment rate and the number of new jobs added that month is the last major economic report before next week's presidential election. And a delay in the report until after the election would fuel conspiracy theories that the Obama administration was trying to withhold negative information.
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) tweeted Monday that a delay would be "par for the course" for the administration.
"Why release something might hurt Obama elect," Grassley wrote.
The median estimate of economists surveyed by Bloomberg is for 125,000 new jobs created in October — up from 114,000 the previous month — and for the unemployment rate to tick up to 7.9%.