Optimists (read: the administration) will look at the March jobs report released this morning and observe that the unemployment rate fell another tick, from 7.7 percent to 7.6 percent. Realists will look at the same data and note that a meager 88,000 jobs were added. So much for all the high-fiving after the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its February report, which showed the addition of 268,000 jobs.
Apart from the new jobs numbers being less than half what economists had forecast and presaging a hiring slowdown, the drop in unemployment is a false positive. According to the report some 496,000 Americans stopped working or looking for work. As Ed Morrissey notes at Hot Air, “The jobs added fall far short of the 125K-150K needed just to keep up with population growth.”
The president has not yet responded to these abysmal new numbers, but that is because he is resting up after an exhausting two days on the campaign trail in San Francisco. You are probably saying to yourself, “But he just won a second and final term, so why is he still campaigning?” The answer is that he is busy raising funds for the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the DNC.
When his propaganda minister, Jay Carney, was confronted yesterday with the sobering reality that the president is out pressing flesh while the country struggles, Carney responded that this is “a traditional exercise” and that other presidents have done the same. But other presidents were not elected on the strength of the promise to “change the way Washington works” and to do away once and for all with the endless campaign.
Anyway today’s job numbers render all of this moot.