Friday, January 6, 2012

Unemployment Rate Drops - how will that effect the race for prez?

Ironic only if that is a Domino's pizza.

The Labor Department announced that the unemployment rate dropped in December. The country benefited from 200,000 new jobs in that time, for a total of 1.6 million jobs created in 2011.
What will this mean to the presidential nomination race where the economy and jobs creation is a major issue?
Obviously this is a big deal for the Committee to Re-elect the President- a major feather in their collective cap. When “the recession” hit, 2 million jobs were lost in just the first three months (January-March 2008). Over all, 8 million jobs have been lost over the course of the recession. Only 1.6 million jobs have managed to come back. So should President Obama sing “Yankee Doodle," put a feather in his cap, and call it macaroni? Well, he will, whether or not he should.
Manufacturing, health care and education industries all saw 20,000 jobs in their sectors. Construction jobs even rose with 17,000 new jobs. Retail and food services jobs rose as well, but holiday hiring seriously skews these numbers. The real retail and food services number will come out in January.(You can read about why the December Jobs Report is Useless at the Motley Fool.)
How did the GOP candidates respond to the 200,000 new jobs??
Mitt Romney reminded everyone that Obama said he would be a one term president if he (Obama) couldn't create more jobs. And then, Romney reminded everyone just how many jobs he has created. And because all responses require an equal and opposite response from the media, AC360 (CNN) ran some numbers on Romney's claims. And guess what? Romney told the truth.
Romney has repeatedly said that he created over 100,000 jobs while at Bain Capital- 89,000 at Staples, 15,000 at Sports Authority, and 7,900 at Dominos. His critics like to point out that 2,200 jobs were cut at other companies as well. (Sorry, sometimes bad companies happen. Join the club.) Romney also created 3,400 jobs as the governor of Massachusetts. AC360, who likes to “keep politicians honest” (and do a great job of it), pointed out that the Bain jobs are current numbers, and not the number of employees back in the 80s and 90s. But I'd just like to point out that who cares if those are current numbers? Isn't that a good thing? Long term success? Long term business viability? The real "story" here would be if he created 100,000 jobs and none of those companies were still in business today.
Meanwhile, because we cannot go for 10 minutes without a candidate invoking the name of Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich let anyone who was still listening that when he worked side by side with Reagan, that together they “praised people who created jobs” (stop! I do believe that would mean he praised Mitt Romney! But I digress.) and that together they created 1.3 million jobs in August of 1983.
I was in the third grade in 1983.
Way to relate to younger voters, Newt.
And Rick Santorum wore a sweater vest. 

1 comment:

  1. I would be more impressed if the 200,000 "new" jobs were provably new and full-time as opposed to rehires, temporary jobs (Christmas), or part-time jobs. I know many who lost jobs and were hired elsewhere at much lower salaries. The fact that the long-term unemployed and those who have simply given up aren't included in the unemployment stats means those numbers are meaningless. And I read or hear on a daily basis of massive layoffs by some of the long-time large companies. I don't even know where the self-employed who don't have unemployment insurance fit in. In short, the numbers are largely meaningless.


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