On Air Now

Upcoming Shows

Program Schedule »

Listen

Listen Live Now » 590 AM Kalamazoo, MI

Weather

Current Conditions(Kalamazoo,MI 49001)

More Weather »
72° Feels Like: 72°
Wind: NW 14 mph Past 24 hrs - Precip: 0”
Current Radar for Zip

Tonight

Isolated Thunderstorms 56°

Tomorrow

Scattered Thunderstorms 75°

Wed Night

Clear 53°

Alerts

A key figure in 2010 election: U.S. jobless rate






Librarian Gary Klein looks at the jobs and other announcements posted at The Work Place, which provides comprehensive employment and career services, in Boston, Massachusetts July 2, 2009. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
Librarian Gary Klein looks at the jobs and other announcements posted at The Work Place, which provides comprehensive employment and career services, in Boston, Massachusetts July 2, 2009. REUTERS/Brian Snyder
</head> <body> <p>By Thomas Ferraro</p> <p>WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The key number in next year's U.S. congressional election may be the unemployment rate, which last month hit a 26-year high of 9.8 percent.</p> <p>The figure helps explains why creating jobs is a top priority in the Democratic-led Congress where lawmakers know their own jobs are at stake if they fail to deliver.</p> <p>Democrats will get an early whiff of whether they are being blamed for the economy on Tuesday, when voters go to the polls to elect governors of New Jersey and Virginia and a congressman in a conservative-leaning New York district bordering Canada.</p> <p>In next year's election, the Democrats face a head wind. The party in power typically loses seats in the election after a new president -- in this case Barack Obama -- takes office.</p> <p>The wind could become a storm if the ranks of the unemployed swell. The rate is widely forecast to top 10 percent before going down.</p> <p>Analysts say a double-digit jobless rate on Election Day in November 2010 could help cost Democrats upward of two dozen seats in the House of Representatives, which they now hold, 256-177, with two vacancies. It could also cost them in the Senate, which they control, 60-40.</p> <p>"The election is going to be about three issues: Jobs. Jobs. Jobs," said Ethan Siegal of The Washington Exchange, a private firm that tracks Congress and the White House for institutional investors.</p> <p>Signaling the end to the deepest recession since the 1930s Great Depression, the government said last week the U.S. economy grew at a robust 3.5 percent pace in the third quarter.</p> <p>Democrats credit the recovery, in part, to the $787 billion economic stimulus package that was passed this year over Republican objections.</p> <p>But the job market, often a lagging indicator, is taking far longer to show improvement. How long it lags could be pivotal. The White House is bracing for unemployment to stay high through the first half of next year.</p> <p>The first sign of how the economy fared in the fourth quarter comes on Friday, when October's unemployment figures are released.</p> <p>REFERENDUM ON OBAMA?</p> <p>Obama won't be on the ballot next year. But Democrats acknowledge the election will be a referendum on his presidency, and that they need his help to retain their big majorities in Congress.</p> <p>If the jobless rate is sinking late next year, Obama's approval rating, now a little more than 50 percent, could be on the rise, making him more of a political force.</p> <p>If the unemployment figure remains high, Obama's numbers may fall and that could hurt his ability to help raise campaign contributions and get out the vote for Democrats.</p> <p>More so than Obama's top priority of healthcare reform, polls show Americans concerned about the economy.</p> <p>"The economy and jobs have always been strong predictors of the tides of an election," said Michael Dimok of the Pew Research Center, a nonpartisan survey research group.</p> <p>"But the problem is so big that it is unclear what the public wants the government to do about it," Dimok said. "There's always a concern about 'too much government.'"</p> <p>With polls showing the public opposed to another massive stimulus package, Obama and members of Congress are exploring a series of smaller and more limited steps.</p> <p>"Everything is on the table" is the White House's refrain.</p> <p>One proposal would extend and possibly expand a popular tax credit for home buyers.</p> <p>Lawmakers may also extend a program that allows laid-off workers to continue to buy health insurance through their former employers, and businesses hope Congress will renew a 20 percent tax credit for research and development.</p> <p>PARTY IN POWER 'GETS THE BLAME'</p> <p>Democrats are also trying to extend unemployment benefits to as many as 2 million people whose assistance may be exhausted by year's end.</p> <p>Senate Republicans have tied up the legislation for weeks, offering unrelated amendments and saying they want spending cuts to offset the cost of extended benefits.</p> <p>Democrats contend the cost would be covered by a fund that workers and employers pay into to finance such relief. They also say the benefits would help spur economic growth.</p> <p>The Senate is expected to pass the jobless bill this week, and then send it to the House for concurrence, clearing the way for Obama to sign it into law.</p> <p>Polls show only about one if four Americans approves of Congress. Surveys also show frustrated voters just about divided on which party they prefer.</p> <p>Dean Debnam of Public Policy Polling, a private firm, said the split would likely hurt Democrats more than Republicans.</p> <p>"There's a lot of discontent out there and when that's the case the party in power pretty inevitably gets the blame," Debnam said.</p> <p>(Additional reporting by Caren Bohan; Editing by Peter Cooney)</p> </body> </html> </div><!-- end article-body --> </div><!-- end aticle-body-wrapper --> <aside> <ul class="social-share-btns clearfix"> <li><g:plusone size="medium" href="http://wkzo.com/news/articles/2009/nov/01/a-key-figure-in-2010-election-us-jobless-rate/"></g:plusone></li> <li><div id="fb-root"></div><script src="http://connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#appId=112315878855956&xfbml=1"></script><fb:like href="http://wkzo.com/news/articles/2009/nov/01/a-key-figure-in-2010-election-us-jobless-rate/" action="recommend" send="true" layout="button_count" width="150" show_faces="false" font=""></fb:like></li> <li><a href="http://twitter.com/share" class="twitter-share-button" data-url="http://wkzo.com/news/articles/2009/nov/01/a-key-figure-in-2010-election-us-jobless-rate/" data-text="A key figure in 2010 election: U.S. jobless rate" data-count="horizontal">Tweet</a><script type="text/javascript" src="http://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js"></script></li> </ul><!-- end social-share-btns --> </aside> </div><!-- end article-container --> <section class="clearfix text-ad-container"><div class="text-ad"></div><div class="text-ad"></div><div class="text-ad"></div></section> <div id='taboola-below-main-column'></div> <script type="text/javascript"> window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({mode:'thumbs-2r', container:'taboola-below-main-column', placement:'below-main-column'}); </script> <div id='taboola-text-2-columns'></div> <script type="text/javascript"> window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({mode:'text-links-5r', container:'taboola-text-2-columns', placement:'text-2-columns'}); </script> <script> window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({flush:true}); </script> <section class="comment-container"> <h1 class="h2 visuallyhidden">Comments</h1> <a href="/news/articles/2009/nov/01/a-key-figure-in-2010-election-us-jobless-rate/#disqus_thread"></a> <div id="disqus_thread" class="section-widget"></div> <script type="text/javascript"> var disqus_shortname = 'wkzo'; var disqus_title = 'A key figure in 2010 election: U.S. jobless rate'; var disqus_url = 'http://wkzo.com/news/articles/2009/nov/01/a-key-figure-in-2010-election-us-jobless-rate/'; (function() { var dsq = document.createElement('script'); dsq.type = 'text/javascript'; dsq.async = true; dsq.src = 'http://' + disqus_shortname + '.disqus.com/embed.js'; (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0] || document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0]).appendChild(dsq); })(); </script> </section><!-- end comment-container --> </article> </div><!-- end of col-1 --> <div id="col-2"> <form class="section-search-form clearfix" method="get" action="/search/"> <fieldset class="clearfix"> <input class="section-search" type="text" rel="Search News" name="q" placeholder="Search News" /> <input class="section-search-submit" type="image" alt="Search" src="http://static.mwcradio.com/images/icons/section-search.gif" /> </fieldset> </form> <div class="ad-300x250"></div> <aside class="aside-module top-stories"> <h1>Top Stories</h1> <ul class="unstyled-list single-col-list"> <li><a href="/news/articles/2014/jul/29/two-injured-in-cass-county-roll-over-crash-monday-afternoon/" title="Full Article: Two injured in Cass County roll over crash Monday afternoon">Two injured in Cass County roll over crash Monda...</a></li> <li><a href="/news/articles/2014/jul/29/kalamazoo-officials-urge-voters-to-support-proposal-one/" title="Full Article: Kalamazoo officials urge voters to support Proposal One">Kalamazoo officials urge voters to support Propo...</a></li> <li><a href="/news/articles/2014/jul/29/primary-opponent-to-congressman-fred-upton-calls-for-change-in-washington/" title="Full Article: Primary opponent to Congressman Fred Upton calls for change in Washington">Primary opponent to Congressman Fred Upton calls...</a></li> <li><a href="/news/articles/2014/jul/29/gary-peters-calls-for-debates-with-terry-lynn-land/" title="Full Article: Gary Peters calls for debates with Terry Lynn Land">Gary Peters calls for debates with Terry Lynn Land</a></li> <li><a href="/news/articles/2014/jul/29/suspect-in-kalamazoos-latest-homicide-formally-charged/" title="Full Article: Suspect in Kalamazoo's latest homicide formally charged ">Suspect in Kalamazoo's latest homicide formally ...</a></li> </ul> </aside> <div class="text-ad"></div> <nav class="aside-module"> <h1>News Sections</h1> <ul class="unstyled-list two-col-list clearfix"> <li><a href="/news/sections/local/" title="Local News Section">Local</a></li> <li><a href="/news/sections/state/" title="State News Section">State</a></li> <li><a href="/news/sections/national/" title="National News Section">National</a></li> <li><a href="/news/sections/world/" title="World News Section">World</a></li> <li><a href="/news/sections/localsports/" title="Local Sports News Section">Local Sports</a></li> <li><a href="/news/sections/sports/" title="National Sports News Section">National Sports</a></li> <li><a href="/news/sections/politics/" title="Politics News Section">Politics</a></li> <li><a href="/news/sections/business/" title="Business News Section">Business</a></li> <li><a href="/news/sections/health/" title="Health News Section">Health</a></li> <li><a href="/news/sections/science/" title="Science News Section">Science</a></li> <li><a href="/news/sections/technology/" title="Technology News Section">Technology</a></li> <li><a href="/news/sections/entertainment/" title="Entertainment News Section">Entertainment</a></li> </ul> </nav> <div class="text-ad"></div> <div class="ad-300x250"></div> <aside id="recentcomments" class="aside-module dsq-widget sidebar-comments"> <h1 class="dsq-widget-title">Recent Comments</h1> <script type="text/javascript" src="http://wkzo.disqus.com/recent_comments_widget.js?num_items=3&hide_avatars=0&avatar_size=32&excerpt_length=200"></script> </aside> <div class="text-ad"></div> </div><!-- end col-2 --> </div><!-- end page-content-wrapper-inner --> </div><!-- end page-content-wrapper-outer --> <div id="site-footer-wrapper"> <footer id="site-footer" class="clearfix"> <ul class="footer-list footer-bucket"> <li><a href="http://static.mwcradio.com/pdf/footer-files/privacy.pdf" title="Privacy Policy">Privacy Policy (PDF)</a></li> <li><a href="http://static.mwcradio.com/pdf/footer-files/termsofuse.pdf" title="Terms of Use">Terms of Use (PDF)</a></li> <li><a href="http://static.mwcradio.com/pdf/footer-files/contestrules.pdf" title="Contest Rules">Contest Rules (PDF)</a></li> <li><a href="http://static.mwcradio.com/pdf/footer-files/contest-rules-addendumC.pdf" title="Contest Rules - Addendum C">Contest Rules - Addendum C (PDF)</a></li> </ul> <ul class="footer-list footer-bucket"> <li><a href="/advertise/" title="Advertise With Us">Advertisers</a></li> <li><a href="http://www.midwestcareers.com/" title="Midwest Careers">Employment</a></li> <li><a href="/eeo/" title="EEO">EEO</a></li> </ul> <div class="footer-bucket"> <ul class="footer-list footer-social-list"> <li> <a href="http://facebook.com/WKZO590AM" title="AM 590 WKZO on Facebook"> <img src="http://static.mwcradio.com/images/icons/facebook20.png" alt="Facebook" /> Facebook </a> </li> <li> <a href="http://twitter.com/WKZONews" title="AM 590 WKZO on Twitter"> <img src="http://static.mwcradio.com/images/icons/twitter20.png" alt="Twitter" /> Twitter </a> </li> </ul><!-- end social links --> <ul class="footer-list footer-bucket"> <li> <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.midwestcommunications.wkzoam&feature=search_result#?t=W251bGwsMSwyLDEsImNvbS5taWR3ZXN0Y29tbXVuaWNhdGlvbnMud2t6b2FtIl0." title="Download Our Android App"> <img src="http://static.mwcradio.com/images/icons/android20.png" alt="Android" /> Listen on Android </a> </li> <li> <a href="https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/wkzo-am-590-fm-96.5/id634060235?mt=8" title="Download Our iOS App"> <img src="http://static.mwcradio.com/images/icons/apple20.png" alt="Apple" /> Listen on iPhone/iPad </a> </li> </ul> </div> <ul class="footer-list footer-bucket contact-info"> <li>© 2014 AM 590 WKZO</li> <li>Call Letters: WKZO</li> <li><span class="frequency-location">590 AM Kalamazoo, MI</span></li> <li>Studio Line 1: 269-382-4280</li> <li>Text Us at 80373</li> <li><a href="/contact-us/" title="Contact Us">Contact Us</a></li> </ul> </footer> </div><!-- end footer-wrapper --> <script src="https://ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/mootools/1.4.5/mootools-yui-compressed.js"></script> <script src="http://static.mwcradio.com/js/mootools-more-1.4.0.1.js"></script> <script src="http://static.mwcradio.com/apps/nowplaying/js/jug-application.js"></script> <script src="http://content.aimatch.com/swfobject.js"></script> <script src="https://apis.google.com/js/plusone.js"></script> <script src="http://static.mwcradio.com/js/mwc.js?5"></script> <script src="http://static.mwcradio.com/datepicker/Locale.en-US.DatePicker.js"></script> <script src="http://static.mwcradio.com/datepicker/Picker.js"></script> <script src="http://static.mwcradio.com/datepicker/Picker.Attach.js"></script> <script src="http://static.mwcradio.com/datepicker/Picker.Date.js"></script> <!--[if lt IE 7 ]> <script src="//ajax.googleapis.com/ajax/libs/chrome-frame/1.0.2/CFInstall.min.js"></script> <script>window.attachEvent("onload",function(){CFInstall.check({mode:"overlay"})})</script> <![endif]--> <script src="http://static.mwcradio.com/js/lightface/LightFace.js"></script> <script src="http://static.mwcradio.com/apps/scoop/js/article_details.js" type="text/javascript"></script> </body> </html>