Labor Dept: October jobs report ready Friday despite hurricane

The final employment report before the election will not be delayed by Hurricane Sandy.

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The Labor Department announced Wednesday that Friday's report will be released at 8:30 a.m., as scheduled, after concerns earlier in the week that the report might be delayed as Sandy wreaked havoc on the East Coast.

Officials with the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) said Monday they were monitoring the storm, and no decision had been made as to whether the jobs report would have to be delayed. They added they had every intention of getting it out on time.

Now that the storm has largely abated, BLS confirmed that there will be no delay in the hotly anticipated report.

"The Employment Situation will be released at 8:30 a.m. on Friday, Nov. 2, as scheduled," said Gary Steinberg, BLS spokesman.

With both presidential campaigns making the economy a central issue in their arguments to voters, the monthly report on the nation's unemployment rate has become a focal point of the race.

Earlier in October, BLS reported that the nation's unemployment rate had fallen to 7.8 percent, dipping below 8 percent for the first time since Obama took office. The economy added 114,000 jobs in September.