Private businesses added just 119,000 jobs last month, not nearly the 150,000 or so needed to keep pace with the growth in population of able bodied workers. Coming on the heels of the determination by the Commerce Department that GDP expanded just 2.5 percent the first quarter, it’s the latest signal that the economy is entering its usual Obama Spring Stall, to be followed by the annual Imaginary Summer of Recovery.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the ADP jobs report, seen as a reliable precursor to the Labor Department report – which will be out Friday – had been expected to show an increase of 155,000 jobs. And remember, this is just the private sector – government jobs, which are not covered by this report but will be in the Friday numbers, have been declining.
Meanwhile, WSJ said, other reports showed the “manufacturing sector remained barely in expansion territory” and that “March construction spending declined 1.7% from February, on expectations of a 0.7% increase.”
In an interview this morning, a senior White House official said there was little doubt George W. Bush was to blame:
Look, he reappeared last week at his library, and the jobs picture worsens. You think that’s a coincidence? Employers just took one look at his face and started firing people.
Really, I asked?
Of course. I think it’s fair to also blame the NRA, people who read the bible, and the abdication of Queen Beatrix of the Netherlands. I mean, is her son Willem-Alexander really prepared to pretend to rule such an insignificant country? I think employers are watching this.
What about President Obama?
I think the president is doing tremendous things, even though he has spent most of this week trying to figure out what he meant by a “red line” in Syria. But of course jobs losses are not his fault. In fact, he just hired a third person to look after Bo, and a court jester to amuse him at lunchtime. The president cares deeply.
Okay, the conversation with a senior White House official never happened. I know you realize that, but I have to say these things or the interview soon will be featured around the Internet.
But the jobs figure is real. Real bad.