As Congress Slams the Jobs Report, the White House Stays Positive
The White House’s response to this morning’s dismal jobs report? Everything is coming up daisies — just really, really slowly. Christina Romer, the head of the Council of Economic Advisers, wrote:
**Today’s employment report shows continued signs of gradual labor market recovery. **Private nonfarm payroll employment increased by 83,000 in June and the unemployment rate fell two-tenths of a percentage point to 9.5 percent. June marks the sixth month in a row that private sector employment has increased. These continued signs of healing are important, particularly given the recent volatility in world markets and the mixed behavior of other recent economic indicators.
And President Obama echoed her statement:
[The June employment report] reflected the planned phase out of 225,000 temporary Census jobs. But it also showed the sixth straight month of job growth in the private sector. All told, our economy has created nearly 600,000 private sector jobs this year. That’s a stark turnaround from the first six months of last year, when we lost 3.7 million jobs at the height of the recession. Now, make no mistake: We are headed in the right direction. But as I was reminded on a trip to Racine, Wisconsin, earlier this week, we’re not headed there fast enough for a lot of Americans.
These statements are accurate, but frankly far too rosy. And they seem to add evidence to the theory that the White House is done pushing for stimulus or big jobs bills, despite the tremendous number of unemployed, underemployed and discouraged workers. Contrast those statements with this from Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.), the majority leader, who hails from the state with the worst unemployment rate in the country:
The fact that the private sector created jobs for the sixth straight month may be a positive trend to economists, but it’s no comfort to the millions of hard-working Americans and Nevadans who want work but can’t find a job in this tough economy. Our economy is still far behind where it needs to be. That is why we’ve been working to cut taxes for small businesses, and close tax loopholes for CEOs who ship American jobs overseas.
I hope these numbers will be a wake-up call to many of our Republican colleagues. At a time when we should be working together to create jobs, those looking simply for political gain are content with denying help to those in need. As we move forward, I hope we can find common ground on common-sense solutions that make it easier for businesses to create jobs and get our economy moving again. We work for the taxpayers, and creating jobs is job number one.
Or this, from House Minority Leader John Boehner (Ohio):