Romney Attacks Obama on Sluggish June Jobs Report
July 6, 2012 12:59 pm
The employment situation did not improve in June, with only 80,000 new jobs added and the unemployment rate holding tough at 8.2%. The disappointing jobs numbers, released in the monthly Bureau of Labor Statistics report, indicate a softening economy after signs of growth in early 2012 and put pressure on the Fed to take further steps to bolster the economy.
June’s growth was strictly limited to the private sector, which added 84,000 jobs in June. The public sector shed 4,000 jobs, and the manufacturing sector is down for the first time since Summer of 2009. On a positive note, the average hourly wage increased from $23.44 to $23.50 and the average private sector work week jumped slightly to 34.5 hours from 34.4. Roland Jones of MSNBC lends some perspective on the economic holding pattern:
June’s 80,000-jobs number is well below the levels seen at the start of the year, and a monthly gain of between 125,000 and 150,000 jobs is needed just to keep up with the growth in the number of new people entering the workforce each month before even starting to whittle down the backlog of nearly 12.7 million unemployed Americans.
With polls trending toward Obama after the Supreme Court approval of the Affordable Care Act, Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney jumped on the new numbers as an opportunity to attack Obama’s economic policies. Romney, currently vacationing in New Hampshire, shirked questions on healthcare and instead referred to the unemployment numbers as, “a kick in the gut,” stating, “[t]he president’s policies have not gotten America working again and the president is going to have to stand up and take responsibility for it.”
All major indices were down in midday trading, with spooked investors flocking to low-risk assets, such as 10-year treasury bonds. Analysts stated the chances of further stimulus increased with the June numbers: “‘The odds of QE3 happening before the election are clearly going up,’ said Jay Feldman, an economist at Credit-Suisse, referring to the nickname for a third round of stimulus known as quantitative easing.”
The recession officially ended three years ago, but that claim is lost on the 12.7 million American that are currently unemployed.
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