The government has released the jobs numbers for July and they are not encouraging. The Washington Post’s headline tells much of the story: “Economy sputters as companies add only 71,000 jobs in July.” Furthermore, as the Post adds in the second paragraph of its story:
The small increase in private-sector employment was more than offset by the loss of 143,000 temporary census jobs, and the nation’s unemployment rate remained unchanged at 9.5 percent. Overall, the nation shed 131,000 jobs in July.
8.5 million workers were working part-time even though they would prefer full-time work. Meanwhile, 6.6 million of the nation’s 14.6 million unemployed workers have been jobless for more than six months, continuing a historic high, the government reported.
There is no way convincingly to spin this report as positive, although President Obama tried. He claimed to see promising signs in the jobs numbers, while acknowledging the need for faster progress and accelerated hiring “right now.”
The Democrats need accelerated hiring “right now.” The economy that will inform the vote this fall is, I believe, the economy reflected in this report and the one next month. An uptick after that would be unlikely to reverse the perception of bad times created not so much by the unemployment numbers as by the reality they reflect.
So even if a turnaround occurs in the fall — and I haven’t seen anyone reputable predicting it will — that would probably be too late to help the Dems on November 2.