In April 1984, the U.S. economy added 363,000 jobs. Unemployment fell to 7.7 percent after a high of 10.8 percent in November 1982. After the most severe recession since World War II, President Reagan was able to ride the healthy economy to a 49-state landslide in November.
Today, the Labor Department announced that the U.S. economy added just 115,000 jobs. Analysts had expected 165,000 jobs. Unemployment is down slightly to 8.1 percent, but only because more and more Americans have stopped looking for work and dropped out of the labor force entirely. If the US labor force was the same size as when Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be 11 percent.
This is the third year in a row that after some false hope in the winter, the Obama recovery has failed to take hold in the spring. Gallup reported earlier this week that Obama’s job approval rating is right on the border between those incumbents who have gone on to win, and those who have failed. If the economy struggles through the summer this year, the same way it did the last two years, Obama has to be considered the underdog.
Obama: Encouraged by the success of the group’s first webvideo, Veterans for a Strong America Executive Director Joel Arends plans to find more Navy SEALs and Special Forces operators who want to criticize the White House during the 2012 campaign. Karl Rove tweeted out approval of the ad yesterday, suggesting the group will get more funding.
Romney: Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have a private meeting Friday in Pittsburgh, Pa. Today, Romney is campaigning in Cleveland where he penned an op-ed for the Cleveland Plain-Dealer: “Welcome to Ohio. I have a simple question for you: Where are the jobs?”
Virginia: A new Washington Post poll shows Obama beating Romney in Virginia 51 percent to 44 percent.
RNC: The Republican National Committee released a new webvideo yesterday titled, “Hype and Blame,” a play off of Obama’s 2008 slogan, “Hope and Change.”
Around the Bigs
NBC News, A teen with a job becomes a rarity in US economy: Only about 25 percent of 16- to 19-year-olds currently are working, a drop of 10 percentage points from just five years ago. The percentage of teenagers who have jobs, expressed as the ratio of employment to population, hovered between 40 and 50 percent for much of the 1980s and 1990s.
The Wall Street Journal, Workforce Productivity Falls: U.S. nonfarm productivity—defined as output per hour worked—declined at a 0.5% annual rate in the first quarter, the Labor Department said yesterday.
The Washington Post editorial board, The EPA is earning a reputation for abuse: “The lesson for Ms. Jackson and her boss, President Obama, from these two episodes is clear: The agency’s officers must have a clear sense when to deploy its mighty power and when to exercise discretion. That’s true for the sake of the economy and to ensure that the EPA will be able to continue its necessary work for years to come.”
The Wall Street Journal, U.S. to Set Rules for Fracking on Federal Land: The Obama administration will soon issue sweeping new environmental-safety rules for hydraulic fracturing on federal land, setting a new standard that natural-gas wells on all lands eventually could follow.
The Hill, China says dissident Chen can apply to study abroad: Chinese officials on Friday said dissident Chen Guangcheng could apply for permission to study abroad, providing a possible solution to a diplomatic crisis for President Obama.
AEI‘s James Pethokoukis highlights another study undermines Obama’s income inequality alarmism.
Human Events David Harsanyi asks, “Who the hell is “Julia,” and why am I paying for her whole life?”
Talking Points Memo explains why Attorney General Eric Holder isn’t scared of House Government Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa’s contempt of Cognress resolution.
Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., tells Capital New York: “I think every one of our incumbents is going to win.”
The Washington Post‘s Rachel Weiner admits Elizabeth Warren has fumbled her responses to her Native American ancestry claims.