The Spectacle Blog

Jobs Numbers in Context

By on 7.6.12 | 2:25PM

The June jobs numbers are essentially unchanged from the disappointing May report, with the economy adding just 80,000 new jobs and the unemployment rate holding steady at 8.2 percent. President Obama told supporters this was a "step in the right direction" and his administration cautioned against reading too much into any single jobs report.

The last bit is sage advice. So let's look at the bigger picture:

  • Unemployment has now remained above 8 percent for 41 straight months.
  • Obama economic advisers Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein had projected that the $800 billion stimulus would have brought unemployment down to 5.6 percent by now.
  • In the 36th month of the Reagan recovery, 209,000 jobs were created to the 80,000 created at the same point in the current recovery.
  • When you factor in people who have dropped out of the labor force, unemployment is closer to 15 percent.
  • Growth in manufacturing employment is slowing.

The Romney campaign has released a statement showing Obama saying some version of the following after each jobs report since November 2009: "Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report and it is informative to consider each report in the context of other data that are becoming available."

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