Despite extensive news coverage of what was widely portrayed as a disappointing government jobs report last Friday, Americans are about as likely to describe it as “mixed” (40%) as to say it is “negative” (42%), with a small minority characterizing it as “positive” (9%). But Americans who view the report as negative are more likely to say it was somewhat negative rather than very negative.
The government reported that 69,000 new jobs were created in May, the lowest amount so far this year, and that the overall unemployment rate rose from 8.1% in April to 8.2% in May. Most news accounts of the report portrayed it in a negative light. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by more than 270 points in Friday’s trading after the report was released, and there was widespread discussion of a “stalled” economy and of the potentially deleterious impact of the report on President Obama’s re-election chances.