Sandy May Delay October Unemployment Numbers Ahead of Election

Hurricane Sandy has scuttled campaign plans for President Barack Obama and his Republican challenger Mitt Romney off the campaign trail. Perhaps as interesting with regards to next Tuesday’s presidential election, the Department of Labor may delay the release of its October jobs report, according to The Wall Street Journal:

The latest buzz out of Washington is the jobs report may not be released on Friday as originally scheduled due to the severity of Hurricane Sandy. A Labor Department official says a final decision hasn’t been made yet.

The hurricane is unlikely to affect the headline jobs report, according to a FAQ published by the Bureau of Labor Statistics—”In order for sever weather conditions to reduce the estimate of payroll employment, employees have to be off work without pay for the entire pay period”—but a delay would be tracked closely nonetheless.

Last month, former General Electric CEO Jack Welch set off a minor media storm when he suggested that September’s positive jobs report may have been the handiwork of President Obama’s “Chicago guys” (that Windy City, of course, boasting a rich reputation for fixing numbers).

If the October report was pushed from Friday to Monday, regardless of the results, wouldn’t conspiracy theories abound?