Job slowdown vacuums joy from White House
The Kansas City Star
Hear that sucking sound? That’s the joy being vacuumed from the White House today as the new jobless rate was announced.
Employers added only 115,000 new workers last month, according to the Labor Department. That compared 120,000 new jobs in March, which was down from more than 200,000 in each of the previous three months.
Instead of champagne, President Barack Obama and others in his administration may be sharing sips on one flat beer.
The unemployment rate went down to just 8.1 percent from 8.2 percent in March and 8.3 percent in February. The latest drop is attributed to more workers just giving up on their long efforts to find a job.
Clearly diminishing returns are setting in, and that has to worry the Obama administration. No incumbent president has ever won re-election when unemployment was above 7.2 percent.
The best Obama could hope for with the current rate of decline is for the jobless number to be 7.6 percent by Election Day. That clearly is wishful thinking with a double-dip recession and double-digit unemployment numbers spreading like the flu through European nations.
It won’t be long before that mess hits the U.S., and the outcome won’t be pretty.