In October, the U.S. added 80,000 jobs, a number which, if not impressive, was certainly better than the summer outlook, when the average monthly job add was just 20,000. “The underlying momentum of the economy is better now than we thought it was a few months ago,” said Augustine Faucher, the director of macroeconomics at Moody’s Analytics. “We’re doing O.K., even if we’re not doing great.” Yet, the numbers are still not close to what President Obama promised back at the start of his presidency, when he said that the national unemployment rate would be back down to 6% by 2011. As an election year approaches, Republicans and Democrats continue to debate the best solution for the 14 million unemployed U.S. workers.

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