But hey, the unemployment rate allegedly fell to 8.1%, so it’s another Obama victory!
U.S. employers pulled back on hiring in April for the second straight month, a sobering reminder that the economy remains weak. The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent, but only because more people gave up looking for work.
The Labor Department said Friday that the economy added just 115,000 jobs in April. That’s below March’s upwardly revised 154,000 jobs and far fewer than the pace from earlier this year.
The unemployment rate has fallen a full percentage point since August to a three-year low. But last month’s decline was not due to job growth. The government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively looking for work.
I must admit I’m amazed the media is disclosing that fact.
Average hourly wages rose a penny in April, to $23.38. They have increased 1.8 percent over the past year, trailing the rate of inflation.
The economy must create at least 125,000 jobs a month just to keep pace with population growth. It generally takes twice that number on a consistent basis to rapidly lower the unemployment rate.
Weak job gains pose a threat to President Barack Obama’s reelection. He is likely to face voters this fall with the highest unemployment rate of any president since World War II.
Economists surveyed by the Associated Press said hiring should be sufficient to push the unemployment rate below 8 percent by Election Day. The 32 economists surveyed by the AP see steady job gains averaging 177,000 a month for the rest of this year. That should be enough to lower the unemployment rate to 7.9 percent by November.
Of course they also claimed hiring would be around that number for April. Except it wasn’t.