The U.S. economy created a modest 83,000 private sector jobs in June, adding to concern that the economic recovery is tepid at best and highlighting the political danger to President Barack Obama and Congressional Democrats heading into a tightly contested midterm election cycle in which control of the House and perhaps the Senate are at stake.How's that argument look now?
While it is only a single snap-shot in time, the June jobs figure often takes on outsize political significance in an election year because it comes as Americans are still paying close attention before summer begins in earnest.
The unemployment rate has remained stuck near a politically perilous 10 percent in what increasingly looks like a jobless recovery, if it is a recovery at all. The economy is making very limited headway in replacing the over 7 million jobs lost since the recession began following the 2008 credit crisis and banking meltdown.
The numbers spell significant trouble for Obama and the Democrats heading toward the November midterms, as they have increasingly argued that the $787 billion stimulus package put a solid floor under the economy and is on its way toward creating or saving 3.5 billion jobs.
Does highlighting these depressing numbers mean Republicans are cheerleaders for failure?
Of course not.
It means Republicans are simply citing evidence that the solutions implemented by the Democrats have failed. They don't work. They stink.
If all evidence suggests they don't work, then voters should, and without question will, side with removing the Party responsible.
Why? Because they have solutions.
Finally, here are some of the particularly scary data points from today's release:
- Labor force participation rate fell by 0.3% in June to 64.7%; employment-population ratio, at 58.5%, edged down over the month.
- Among the marginally attached, there were 1.2 million discouraged workers in June, up by 414,000 from a year earlier.
- In June, about 2.6 million persons were marginally attached to the labor force, an increase of 415,000 from a year earlier.
UPDATE: Jim Geraghty made a fantastic point on Twitter: "This week, Obama emphasized we were losing 750K jobs/month when he took over. Today, we learned 652K quit looking for jobs in June."