Jobs Figure Devastating for Obama

Friday, 08 Jul 2011 06:01 PM

By Martin Gould

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The Obama administration was hit with devastating employment figures on Friday that showed only 18,000 new jobs were added in June – 83 percent less than the projected figure.

It is the second month in a row that Labor Department figures for new jobs have been shockingly low. In May, they stood at just 25,000 new posts.
The result is that unemployment ticked up from 9.1 percent to 9.2, meaning 14.1 million Americans are looking for work. Of those, 44 percent have been out of work for six months or more.

The figures are even worse if “long-term discouraged workers,” those who have given up hope of finding jobs, are taken into account. John Williams of American Business Analytics & Research estimates the jobless figure then would be around 23 percent.

President Barack Obama again attacked Congress while addressing the June numbers. He called for investment in infrastructure, the passing of a patent bill, the signing of trade agreements and an extension of the middle class tax break as ways of getting people back to work, during a statement made in the White House Rose Garden.

Obama said a successful conclusion of talks to raise the debt ceiling would help. "The sooner we get this done the sooner businesses will have the certainty needed to grow and to hire," he said, as he announced that there would be more talks with Congressional leaders on Sunday.

But GOP leaders laid the blame for the disappointing figures firmly at the feet of the president and his policies, linking them to a need to cut government spending as part of a debt ceiling deal.

“In terms of unemployment, the job creation is pitiful, and it’s because of the president’s policies,” Georgia Rep. Tom Price, the chairman of the Republican Policy Committee told Newsmax.TV in an exclusive interview.

Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus said, “Each passing unemployment report is a stinging reminder that President Obama has failed to get our economy out of the ditch.”

House Speaker John Boehner called the report “more evidence that the misguided stimulus spending binge, excessive regulations, and an overwhelming national debt continue to hold back private-sector job creation in our country.”

He added, “Legislation that raises taxes on small business job creators, fails to cut spending by a larger amount than a debt limit hike, or fails to restrain future spending will only make things worse – and won’t pass the House.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor joined in the condemnation. “These numbers serve as a warning that as we address the debt limit increase we shouldn’t do so in a way that raises taxes and impedes the ability of small businesses to create jobs and get people back to work."


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Economists had forecast that around 105,000 new jobs had been added in June, but that figure was way off the mark.

The news was particularly disappointing for the administration as payroll company ADP had announced on Thursday that private sector jobs had increased by 157,000 in June, way above the expected figure. The ADP figures are typically an accurate pointer to the jobs figures. But that was not the case this month.

During his statement, Obama said, “We still have a big hole to fill. He said the figures “confirm what most Americans already know – we still have a long way to go and a lot of work to do.”

He pointed out that the majority of job cuts in May came among federal, state and local government workers who have been let go because of cuts and the pressure to balance budgets. A total of 87,000 government jobs have been eliminated in the last two months.

But private-sector job gains were terribly weak, the figures showed. The transportation and warehousing sector added only 3,600 jobs in June; construction shed 9,000 positions and in the financial sector there was a net job loss of 15,000. Even temporary employment is falling, leading to more worries.

Austan Goolsbee, the chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors warned that politicians of all stripes have to work together. He told CNBC that the May and June figures are “a call to action for Washington to stop the bickering, to stop the frankly dangerous actions that doing nothing will have for the economy.”



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