Analysts universally panned the jobs report on Friday, which showed a growth of only 80,000 jobs — slightly more than half of what’s needed just to keep up with population growth. It was the third straight disappointment in the series, making the second quarter of 2012 the worst period in two years for job creation. Anyone with even a passing understanding of the jobs data knew that the only good news from the report was that it wasn’t any worse.
Not everyone has a passing understanding of the jobs data, apparently:
We learned this morning that our businesses created 84,000 new jobs last month, and that overall means that businesses have created 4.4 million new jobs over the past 28 months, including 500,000 new manufacturing jobs. That’s a step in the right direction. (Applause.) That’s a step in the right direction.
A step in the right direction? Only if you think falling behind is the “right direction.”
By the way, BLS data shows that the US has added 3.75 million jobs in the last 28 months, not 4.4 million (138,665,000 in February 2010 and 142,415,000 in June 2012). As I mentioned yesterday, the 28-month starting point was picked by the White House to conveniently overlook the million-plus job loss from the start of the recovery in June 2009, which was four months after Obama signed the stimulus bill that was supposed to keep unemployment from reaching 8%. But even at the rate Obama claims for the period that ignores jobs lost during the recovery (and not the recession that preceded it), that only comes to 157,142 jobs added per month, or about what would have been needed just to keep up with population growth.
In other words, even if Obama’s bogus numbers had been true, it wouldn’t have been “a step in the right direction.” It would have been marching in place.
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