Friday, May 4, 2012

April Job Numbers Are Bad News For Obama Re-Election.

Folks, lets not try and sugarcoat sugar honey iced tea. These numbers are bad. Bad meaning bad, not bad meaning good. No other way to spin it.
The U.S. economy added 115,000 new jobs in April and the unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent, the lowest level since January 2009. While some may focus on the rate, the more important fact is that job creation was disappointing.

2012 started off with a bang in terms of job creation. In January, the economy added 275,000 jobs; February was revised up to 259,000 from the originally reported 240,000; and March was also revised up to 154,000 from 120,000. With today's data, the average monthly job creation this year has been 200,000. The big question that looms: Were the January-February results an anomaly and are the March-April results indicative of where the economy and the jobs market really stands?

In the weeks leading up to the report, there seemed to be impending doom. Weekly claims were trending higher (claims averaged about 384,000 in April, up from an average of 369,000 in January, February and March); the ADP private sector employment report was weaker than expected; and then there was everyone's favorite scapegoat: The weather. Economists said there would be payback for that mild winter that much of the nation enjoyed.

Analysts said that employers hired more than expected in December, January and February, "borrowing" those jobs from March, April and May. Goldman Sachs analysts guessed "that weather has boosted the level of payrolls by around 100,000 as of February, and may have shaved about 20,000 from the March report. Going forward, we currently expect payback of about 50,000 in April and the remaining 30,000 in May."
I know some folks on #TeamObama are going to try and place the blame for these anemic numbers somewhere other than the White House. And yes, there's plenty of blame to go around. Congress isn't helping. States are still laying off workers. The winter was unseasonably warm. Amare and Linsanity are both hurt.[1]

While there's truth to all of that, reality is, when you're President, the buck stops with you. If you take credit when things are going well, you have to take the heat when things aren't. I praised Obama when the job numbers were on the upswing. They're now ominously rolling back in the opposite direction. That's not good, misleading 8.1% unemployment rate not withstanding.

None of this changes my vote. Romney's practically non-existent financial plan presents no real solutions other than "get rid of Obama and do the same sh*t that got us in a recession in the first place". No ma'am.

But let's not make excuses for bad performance. Call a proverbial spade a spade.

Unless these numbers improve dramatically, November's election is wide open.

Question: What do you think? What (if anything) can be done to reverse this downward trend in job growth?!?

[1] Oops, wrong set of excuses.

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