July Job Numbers Were Up, but Still Disappointing

Posted on August 7, 2012. Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , |

By Carl Chancellor

In a word: disappointing. That is the only way to describe the employment numbers released by the Labor Department last week. Employers added just 163,000 jobs in July although the figure was slightly better than most analysts predicted and was an improvement on the monthly average for the year of 151,000 new jobs.

However, July’s puny new jobs number did nothing to put a dent in the nation’s stubbornly high unemployment rate, which actually rose to 8.3 percent up from 8.2 percent in June.  The number of unemployed Americans stood at 12.8 million in July.

So what do the latest jobs numbers mean for the upcoming election in November?

While July’s job gains weren’t much to crow about they were nonetheless an improvement over the previous four months, and as the White House pointed out—the private sector has added 4.5 million jobs in the past 29 months. However, July was the 42nd straight month that the jobless rate has been above 8 percent.

According to the Labor Department the jobs gains were across the board, including: 25,000 new manufacturing jobs; 14,000 temporary services jobs; 29,000 restaurant jobs; 38,000 in the education and health services sector; and some 7,000 in retail.

While the President can point to the latest job growth numbers and rightfully claim that the recovery has been chugging along steadily, the reality is that no president has faced re-election with unemployment above 8 percent since World War II.

“Let’s acknowledge, we have too many folks out there looking for work,” said President Obama just after the jobs numbers were releases. “We’ve got to do more work to do on their behalf.”

Naturally, the Romney campaign had its own spin on the job numbers.

“Today’s increase in the unemployment rate is a hammer blow to struggling middle-class families,” said likely GOP nominee Mitt Romney in a statement when the Labor Department released its numbers. “Middle-class Americans deserve better, and I believe America can do better.”

The latest polling data for August rating the President’s job approval shows that the nation is evenly divided on the question. And the most recent polling gives the President the edge over Romney if the election were held today— Obama by 10 points, Pew Research Center; Romney by 1 point, Rasmussen Reports; and Obama by 6 points, NBC News/Wall Street Journal.

As the New York Times recently noted: “…the (jobs) report is not a game-change, economically or politically.”

Turner GPA is a leading D.C.-based national lobbying and government affairs firm dedicated to delivering cutting edge policy advocacy for the manufacturing, defense, aerospace, health and energy industries. Members of our professional policy team can be reached at (202) 466-2511. We are also on the Web at www.turnergpa.com.

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