The Bureau of Labor Statistics announced the employment numbers for March today, but news reports suggest they’re disappointing. The Wall Street Journal writes, “U.S. job growth slowed in March, and the labor force shrank, signaling that the economy could be losing momentum. Jobs outside of agriculture grew by 120,000 last month—half the number that the economy added the prior month—the Labor Department said Friday, marking the first time since November that job growth fell below 200,000.” And the AP reports, “The job market slowed in March as companies hit the brakes on hiring amid uncertainty about the economy’s growth prospects. The unemployment rate dipped, but mostly because more Americans stopped looking for work.”
With today’s news, it’s worth recalling what Democrats in Congress and the Obama administration promised when they passed their nearly $1 trillion stimulus bill three years ago. Former White House economists Christina Romer and Jared Bernstein predicted that the unemployment rate with the stimulus bill would not exceed 8%. Yet the unemployment rate has been above 8% for over 36 months now. Shortly after President Obama signed the stimulus, Vice President Joe Biden boasted that the stimulus “literally drop-kicks us out of this recession” by, he claimed, creating “3.5 million jobs” in “18 months.”
Asked about the economy last week, Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell said, “Is that good enough? We’re used to having a vibrant, robust economy. . . . We’re driving jobs overseas because of too much government, too much taxation, regulation. Look, this is not an administration that’s friendly to those people who create jobs and make the economy grow for all of us.”
President Obama’s expensive regulations, constant calls for tax increases, and his byzantine and unpopular health care law are all making it harder and more expensive to create private sector jobs in the United States. This country can do better.