August 3 2012
Happy Birthday, Mr. President: Unemployment Is at 8.3 Percent
Tomorrow is President Obama’s 51st birthday. With his signature modesty, the president has said that he’d like Florida’s electoral votes as a birthday present.
Other Americans will be yearning for something far more basic this Saturday: a job. The latest employment figures are out this morning, and unemployment is up: 8.3 percent. The economy added 163,000 jobs, anemic but more than had been expected, but this is the 41st consecutive month that unemployment has been above 8 percent.
Apparently because jobs were added, the markets (so far) are set to react positively. To me this is an indication of one of two things: we’ve been down so long it looks like up (with apologies to folk singer Richard Farina), or the markets are anticipating a Romney win in November.
Despite the seemingly good news [!?], the report's household showed that the actual amount of Americans working dropped by 195,000, with the net job gain resulting primarily from seasonal adjustments in the establishment survey. The birth-death model, which approximates net job growth from newly added or closed businesses, added 52,000 to the total.
The household survey also showed 150,000 fewer Americans in the workforce.
As for the even more pathetic 80,000 jobs reported to have been created in June, well, that figure has been revised down to 64,000. CNBC says the real rate of unemployment is even worse. Oklahoma, Tennessee, and Virginia are among the job-creating states, all states with a pro-business atmosphere.
Even the pro-Obama New York Times has begun to take note of the increasingly urgent and desperate email appeals for money coming from the Obama campaign. Here is my favorite email so far:
“My upcoming birthday next week could be the last one I celebrate as President of the United States, but that’s not up to me — it’s up to you,” Mr. Obama said to his supporters in an e-mail late last week.
Instead of asking for Florida gift wrapped, President Obama needs to embrace policies that would provide jobs for unemployed Americans. But, as for the birthday email—doesn’t that perfectly reflect the Obama campaign’s disconnect from the rest of this struggling company?
The Times, by the way, says that the Obama campaign is likely to have plenty of money but that the desperation is designed to encourage people to give early.