“He made it worse.”
That increasingly looks like the political slogan Republicans are coalescing around, and indeed, the one number everyone can understand and care about is getting worse again.
Unemployment moved up again to 9.1 percent from 9 percent, the Labor Department reported today, and this time there is no excuse like “more people are looking for work and joined the labor force” to explain the increase. It was 8.8 percent in March.
The economy created only 54,000 jobs in May, well below the 125,000-150,000 needed to keep pace with population growth. So it’s really job losses, not job gains. The modest manufacturing boom that was occurring is over, with 5,000 jobs lost last month. And hiring of temporary workers failed to increase, signaling employers are not ready to significantly expand hiring.
White House Council of Economic Advisers Chairman Austan Goolsbee asked that you not make too much of this.
Today’s employment report shows that private sector payrolls increased by 83,000 in May and the unemployment rate ticked up to 9.1 percent. There are always bumps on the road to recovery, but the overall trajectory of the economy has improved dramatically over the past two years . . .
The monthly employment and unemployment numbers are volatile and employment estimates are subject to substantial revision. Therefore, as the Administration always stresses, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report.
Note the effort to confuse by focusing on private sector hiring. This is what’s known as OPPORTUNISTIC CHERRY PICKING. Because state and local governments are faced with massive deficits and are shedding workers, the private sector hiring has generally looked better than the overall picture.
So, all of a sudden President Obama doesn’t care about public sector employees. At least not for the purposes of the jobs report. Give me a break.
And this is not just a bump in the road to recovery. There is general agreement among economists that the recovery, which should be roaring at this point out of a recession – particularly out of a deep recession, not despite a deep one – is very fragile.
While employment increases were 190,000+ for February, March and April, this month’s level is similar to January’s, which was about 68,000. And gross domestic product increased by only 1.8 percent in the first quarter of the year, while economists are slashing the predictions of annual 2011 growth below 3 percent.
It’s more than a bump. Something isn’t working.