In the post immediately below, I offered my view on the Labor Department’s jobs report, which says that the unemployment rate dropped from 8.1 percent to 7.8 percent last month. In sum, the purported improvement indicated by these numbers appears to have little or no basis in reality.
Mitt Romney responded quickly to the report:
This is not what a real recovery looks like. We created fewer jobs in September than in August, and fewer jobs in August than in July, and we’ve lost over 600,000 manufacturing jobs since President Obama took office. If not for all the people who have simply dropped out of the labor force, the real unemployment rate would be closer to 11%. The results of President Obama’s failed policies are staggering – 23 million Americans struggling for work, nearly one in six living in poverty and 47 million people dependent on food stamps to feed themselves and their families. . . .
Will the specious report of a lower unemployment rate help Obama? Perhaps it will in some very marginal way. But voters have a pretty clear sense of what the job market looks like in their locale. They know whether their children, friends, and neighbors are struggling to find full time work, or have given up the effort. To the extent they witness or experience such struggles, they aren’t likely to be pacified by a government number.