Unemployment is the top U.S. economic political priority, a leading pollster said on Wednesday.

“Unemployment is the leading economic indicator when it comes to politics,” Democratic pollster Peter Hart told the Wall Street Journal. “Anytime unemployment hits double digits, it’s hard to see the party in control having a good election year.

The White House and many leading economists have forewarned that the unemployment rate will continue to rise beyond its current 9.8 percent rate to cross the 10 percent barrier before starting to decline sometime next year.

September’s results are slightly below the average monthly loss for the last six months of 307,000. Average monthly job losses in the previous six months starting in November 2008 were 645,000.

Unemployment, considered a lagging indicator, is set to continue rising even as other major aspects of the economy, including the housing market and manufacturing have already begun to rebound.

Economic growth, as measured by a year over year comparison of the gross domestic product, is expected to be positive in the third quarter when the government issues its latest advanced estimate report on October 29.

Many publicly traded corporations are also set to report their third quarter earnings starting this week, with investors looking to see if gains in the second quarter can continue to rise.