On the heels of Friday’s dismal jobs report, there’s quite a bit of bad economic news today reflecting the state of the Obama economy.
USA Today writes, “The economy isn’t careening into a ditch. It’s just stuck firmly in the slow lane. A disappointing report on the job market Friday dashed hopes that a halting recovery would finally take off and generate hundreds of thousands more jobs every month. Though the economy is growing, it still doesn’t feel that way for millions of Americans who are unemployed or whose wages are barely rising. . . . ‘2012 is beginning to look horribly like 2011 — initial high hopes that the recovery was kicking into high gear, subsequently dashed,’ Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist of IHS Global Insight, said in a research note to clients. . . . [T]he nation still has 5 million fewer jobs than it did when the recession began in December 2007. About half the states will recover all their lost jobs by next year, economist Jim Diffley of IHS Global Insight estimates. But that’s more than twice as long as it took in the last four recoveries. All 8.7 million jobs lost in the downturn won’t be recouped until 2016, IHS projects. Most disconcerting: Job growth revved up at the beginning of 2010, 2011 and this year before slowing markedly each spring. From December through February, employers added an average 252,000 jobs a month. But job gains have progressively slowed the past three months. In May, employers added just 69,000, the fewest in a year, the Labor Department said Friday.”
And The Wall Street Journal reports, “The Dow has given back all of this year’s gains and is down 8.7% from the multiyear high of 13279.32, reached May 1. . . . The dour U.S. unemployment news Friday was bolstered with data showing that U.S. manufacturing had cooled in May, and that consumer spending rose faster than incomes in April—suggesting household finances remain strained. The Labor Department’s report was the third consecutive month of disappointing payroll gains. It followed a government report on Thursday that lowered its estimate of economic growth in the first quarter to a weak 1.9% annualized rate.”
This ongoing economic gloom is clearly worrying Americans. According to Gallup, “Nearly six in 10 Americans are currently dissatisfied with the opportunity for the next generation of Americans to live better than their parents. Older Americans are particularly unhappy on this question, but on balance, the majority of young adults are negative as well. . . . These results are based on a USA Today/Gallup poll conducted May 10-13 and could have implications for how Americans perceive President Barack Obama’s job performance when deciding whether to support his re-election bid next fall.”
As Senate Republican Conference Chairman John Thune said on Friday, “[This] weak jobs report further confirms what nearly 13 million unemployed Americans already knew, that the Obama economy isn’t working. It isn’t working for the one in two recent college graduates who can’t get a good job. It isn’t working for middle class families whose median income has dropped by $4,350. And it isn’t working for the 28,000 construction workers who lost their jobs in the month of May. Yet President Obama continues to block job-creating projects like the Keystone XL pipeline, which would create 20,000 jobs, many in the construction industry. The president’s policies of wasteful government spending, massive tax increases, and more job-killing regulations have failed to get Americans back to work. After a record 40 straight months of unemployment above eight percent, it is clear that President Obama’s policies have made the economy worse.”