The other day, I offhandedly mentioned in relation to a separate story that Labor Department statistics were released the other day, and were extremely strong. And I realized that such numbers should simply go by offhandedly.
New jobs in May went up a huge 280,000. This was particularly significant because the new year had started slowly. Not badly -- in fact, the average for the first three months was a respectable 207,000 jobs, -- however, this was down from the average last year of an average gain of 263,667 gain. So, the big increased, above even last year's strong average, was a particularly good signal.
Unemployment figured, though, did tick up slightly -- from 5.4% to 5.5%. (Keep in mind that unemployment had been 8.1% when Barack Obama took office.) However, economists looked at this increase as a positive, It turns out that several hundred thousand more people re-entered the jobs market in May and looked for jobs in May, but not enough openings were available.
None of this is to suggest that the economy has officially turned around completely and is robust. The economy was so pounded during the end of the Bush Administration that consumers still are wary. But new construction jobs lead the way which is yet another positive indication for the continued economic improvement
More to the point is this quote and statement from Jason Furman, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers: "The private sector has added 12.6 million jobs over 63 straight months of job growth, extending the longest streak on record."
For those who prefer a graphical interpretation of this --
To clarify, President Obama took office in January, 2009. After a couple of holdover months of inherited deep employment, the rest has been uphill.
So much for the current (and might I add, shameless, of course) far-right theme that the economy crashed under Barack Obama and that he has overseen the worst economy in U.S. history.
In general, I thought we were all supposed be glad for good economic news.
I, for one, am.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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