The report Friday from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, showing that the economy had added 171,000 jobs in October and revising August's and September's job creation numbers upwards by 84,000, was very good news.
The same report also showed the unemployment rate ticked up from 7.8 percent in September to 7.9 percent in October. A year ago, the jobless rate was 8.9 percent.
The information came on top of a Conference Board report Thursday that showed the consumer confidence index had risen to 72.2 in October, its highest level since February 2008. The health of the U.S. economy depends roughly 70 percent on consumer spending.
Those two gauges of America's economic well-being, the jobs report and the consumer confidence measure, can be coupled with other hopeful news. The Department of Commerce reported on Oct. 26 that the nation's gross domestic product in the third quarter, July through September, grew by 2 percent, up from 1.3 percent in the second quarter. Two percent economic growth is weak in overall terms, but the direction upward is encouraging.
These three reports, from non-partisan sources, support the general claim of President Barack Obama that America's recovery from the recession that has plagued the country since before he took office is occurring, albeit slowly. His policies are slowly but surely encouraging the process and are not standing in the way of recovery.
The positive job reports for the past three months also mean that Republican nominee Mitt Romney's shrill claim that he will create 12 million new jobs for America, without indicating how, is becoming less relevant. His assertion also must be viewed against the record of his business experience at Bain Capital, which included exporting jobs, and his prescription of job-destroying bankruptcy for the auto industry without strong help from the federal government.
Regardless of the conclusions that voters draw from the new data, the reports of more job creation, growth in consumer confidence and a rise in the economic growth rate, constitute good news for Americans overall and a trend to be continued.