White House Press Secretary Jay Carney today came up with a novel way to spin the disappointing March employment numbers, which showed the economy created only 120,000 jobs, some 80,000 below expectations.
The figure is potentially disastrous for Obama since it shows hiring may be tapering down and the gains of previous months may be due to seasonal factors, not robust growth.
Here’s what Carney said on the way to Florida, where Obama will be creating jobs for his campaign organization by attending three fundraisers:
We talked a lot about jobs numbers on Friday, the fact that 120,000 jobs created, which made for the best quarter since 2006 in jobs created, came in under expectations, and there was a lot of discussion about whether or not that was a good number or a bad number. The fact of the matter is under President George W. Bush, the average monthly job creation figure was 67,000 jobs.
Carney might think twice about using Bush’s job record as a foil for Obama.
It’s true that Bush’s job creation results were mediocre. But Bush did have a job creation record. Under Obama, the economy has lost more than 1 million jobs. And at this point after such a nightmarish recession, it should be pumping out jobs in the hundreds of thousands per month to give us any chance of getting back where we were under Bush
What’s more the unemployment rate under Bush averaged 5.3 percent. The rate under Obama is currently over 8 percent, where it’s been for years and is likely to stay for the foreseeable future.