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January 7, 2011
Only 103,000 jobs created in December
OK - so, you're David Axelrod. You've got another anemic jobs report for the president to comment on.
What do you have the president say?
1. It could have been worse if Bush was still in office.
2. Just wait until I get my new economics team in place! Then we're going to rock and roll!
3. Jobs report? What jobs report?
4. Just think of all the jobless benefits we're still paying out to grow the economy!
The truth is awful enough. The New York Times reports:
The United States economy ended the year by adding 103,000 jobs in December, the Labor Department said Friday, a number that missed expectations and suggested that job growth could continue to hinder a recovery.
Economists are talking about a whopping 4% growth rate for the economy next year. That's not going to get the job done, although it will probably be enough to bring the rate of joblessness below 9%.
This is the slowest recovery since the 1930's and easily the most anemic jobs recovery in history. 2012 can't come soon enough for the unemployed.
Update from Thomas Lifson:
William Jacobson of Legal Insurrection has a great post reviewing the underlying data beneath the deceptive "decline" in unemployment, with charts. These two are particularly revealing:
The labor participation rate over the past 20 years - at a 20 year low:
Here is a chart combining the unemployed, and the marginal and discouraged workers: