Unemployment Rises to 9.1% on Worst Jobs Report in 8 Months

Posted on June 3, 2011

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Image: renjith krishnan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The GOP thinks Obama’s prospects for reelection may be getting dimmer, and it looks like they have some good reason: his policies and those of his Congress have failed to deliver on the economic growth and recovery he promised nearly three years ago.

Today we see news that the economy saw a meager 54,000 jobs created in the month of May, well below the previous quarter’s monthly average of 220,000 job per month. Some experts are blaming high gas prices for the poor performance, but gas prices declined steadily in the month of May. The truth is that relentless government interference in the free markets – propping up otherwise failed companies, exploding regulations and printing money without end – has made what should have been a short correction into what increasingly looks like a long-term, stagnant recession.

The news is made worse by the fact that we need to create hundreds of thousands of jobs a month just to keep unemployment at current levels. The lackluster report for last month meant that unemployment rose to 9.1%. But that doesn’t include underemployment (the measure of unemployment which includes people unable to secure full time work) and those who have simply given up looking for work after years of disappointment.

Even once jobs are created at a faster, sustained pace unemployment may actually increase as people reenter the workforce in search of new jobs.

The pessimism is not lost on the American people who, overwhelmingly, believe it will be years before they can return to pre-recession living standards.

In fact, an increasing number, some 61 percent, say they don’t expect to return to their respective pre-recession lifestyles until the spring of 2014, if ever.

A full 10% say they expect the economy to never recover. It doesn’t get much more pessimistic than that.

So what’s the political takeaway? The AP sums it up nicely:

The anemic pace of job creation poses a challenge to President Barack Obama’s re-election prospects next year. The Conference Board, a business research group, predicts that the unemployment rate will be 8.5 percent by the end of next year. That would mean Obama would face re-election with a higher unemployment rate than any other post-war president has.

Update: looks like half of those new jobs created last month were from one employer… McDonald’s.

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