The American economy added 115,000 jobs in April, the 26th consecutive month of private sector job growth.
While generally good news, the numbers fell well short of expectations.
Still, the unemployment rate fell from 8.2 percent in March to 8.1 percent in April. However, that was mainly because more people gave up looking for work.
A key reason for the sluggish job growth is the sharp decline in public sector jobs under President Obama (it turns out Bush was the big public sector job creator of the past 19 years as indicated in this chart from economist Paul Krugman of The New York Times).
The largest federation of unions in the U.S. blames obstructionist Republicans and their economic policies for slow job growth.
“Republicans in Congress have blocked President Obama’s efforts to keep propelling growth, whether it’s the American Jobs Act or routine highway infrastructure investments,” the AFL-CIO said in a statement.
“Their austerity agenda concentrates wealth in the hands of a few, starves our nation of the funds needed to invest in our future, further deepens the wealth divide and chokes off any hope of a strong recovery.”
However, not only do Republicans reject responsibility for slow job growth, they go off the deep end while trying to make President Obama look bad.
“We should be seeing numbers in the 500,000 jobs created per month,” Romney said on Fox & Friends just minutes after the April numbers were released.
First of all Willard, in the past 50 years, the U.S. has created 500,000 jobs in a single month only five times: March 1978, April 1978, September 1983, September 1997 and May 2010. Four out of five of those months when 500,000+ jobs were add came under Democratic presidents – Jimmy Carter (twice!), Bill Clinton and Barack Obama (ironic, isn’t it, that the president Romney’s been most critical of late, Jimmy Carter, is the only president to have presided over TWO 500K+ job creation months since 1962!)
Secondly, during the month when the fifth-worst U.S. president of all time, Republican George W. Bush, handed the presidency over to Barack Obama, America was LOSING 818,000 jobs. It was the worst monthly job loss during those same 50 years (1962-2012).
Where was Mitt then?
Romney also believes that unemployment should be under 4 percent. But what’s his plan? More tax cuts for the rich, more deregulation. Why? Because all that worked so well under Bush! And for Britain, too.
As we reported yesterday, President Obama is favored to win re-election in November as long as the unemployment rate stays below 9.8 or 9.5 percent. Why? Because “no president has lost re-election when the unemployment rate dropped in the two years before the election.”