Ag Secretary: Hey, the economy’s turned the corner!

posted at 12:01 pm on June 20, 2012 by Ed Morrissey

And the private sector is doing fine!  Barack Obama’s Secretary of Agriculture went on the campaign trail yesterday in the key swing state of Virginia, where he posed the eternal question of Obamanomics — who are you going to believe, us or your lying pocketbooks?

 The U.S. economy has “obviously turned the corner” and is improving, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack said this morning in Blacksburg as he kicked off a media tour to praise the Obama administration’s assustance [sic] to rural areas.

Staffers emphasized that Vilsack was campaigning as a former governor of Iowa rather than in his current federal role.

He and Blacksburg Mayor Ron Rordam highlighted a number of areas where they said the Obama administration had helped rural localities, including funding expansion of broadband and supporting conservation and recreation efforts.

“Obviously”?  How obvious has the last few jobs reports been, anyway?  Investment houses have spent most of the year lowering their estimates for growth in 2012 to below 2% levels.  Yesterday, Jim Pethokoukis pointed out a JP Morgan report on job creation suggests that we may end up going negative on job creation this summer:

The government’s April Job Opening and Labor Turnover report was, in the words of JPMorgan economists, “soft, lending some credence to the view that the April-May slowing seen in the payroll report was real and not a statistical fluke.”

– The number of job openings in April fell 325,000 to 3.416 million. That’s the lowest level since November of last year.

– But here is the real red flag. Private job openings fell 282,000 — the most since early 2009 — to 3.080 million. Early 2009, if you recall, saw the economy just hemorrhaging jobs.

We’re turning a corner, all right, and it’s getting more obvious.  But it’s not the direction Americans want to be turning.


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