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ICYMI: A Rude Jobs Interruption

- June 4, 2016

Excerpts from the Wall Street Journal

By: Editorial Board

Saturday, June 4, 2016

“President Obama’s election-year campaign to make Americans feel great about the economy again was rudely interrupted Friday by the reality of the job market. The economy created a dismal 38,000 net new jobs in May, the worst monthly performance since 2010. Who are you going to believe: The President or the Bureau of Labor Statistics?

“The lousy numbers surprised most economists, including those at the Federal Reserve who have been talking up a tight labor market and hinting at another interest-rate increase or two …

“The jobless rate declined largely because the labor force fell by some 458,000 in May. As for those still in the labor force, the number working part-time who would prefer to have full-time work but can’t find it increased by 468,000 …

“In February 2009 when Mr. Obama first visited Elkhart, Indiana as President to tout his economic stimulus, the rate was 65.8%. The astonishing reality is that this rate has continued to decline for most of this economic expansion. The last time the rate was steadily below 63% was 1977 …

“The net jobs numbers were revised down for March and April by 59,000, and the average job creation across the last three months is 116,000. That’s a significant decline from the 200,000-plus average of the last few years. Fewer Americans were working in May than in February, and average weekly hours worked haven’t budged …

“Which brings us back to Mr. Obama’s magical economic recovery tour … He knows his legacy is on the line in November, and he can read the polls that show that Donald Trump is leading Hillary Clinton on who would do better for the economy.

“Thus his economic pep talk and attempt to rebut what he called “myths” spread by Republicans and the 'conservative' media about slow growth and mediocre incomes. But he doesn’t need to blame us. His bigger beef is with Mrs. Clinton and Bernie Sanders, who have spent the last year deploring the economic condition of America’s middle class. And as of Friday with his own Labor Department, which reported facts that are hard even for this President to spin away.”

Read the full editorial here.

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