Congressional Republicans reacted quickly to the May jobs report today, with the fewest jobs created in a year — 69,000 — and the unemployment rate creeping back up to 8.2 percent.
The White House, though, framed the slowdown as “long in the making” dating back to the Bush administration.
“There is much more work that remains to be done to repair the damage caused by the financial crisis and deep recession that began at the end of 2007,” wrote Alan B. Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. “Just like last year at this time, our economy is facing serious headwinds, including the crisis in Europe and a spike in gas prices that hit American families’ finances over the past months. It is critical that we continue the President’s economic policies that are helping us dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession.”
“As the Administration stresses every month, the monthly employment and unemployment figures can be volatile, and employment estimates can be subject to substantial revision,” Krueger added. “Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report and it is helpful to consider each report in the context of other data that are becoming available.”
Republicans got the first strike, issuing a number of statements before the White House got its out.
“This is just another sign that threatening small businesses with tax hikes and more red tape does not create jobs,” said Rep. Bob Gibbs (R-Ohio), who noted that the forecast for May had been 150,000 new jobs.
“It is our hope that the pressure will build on our Senate Democrat colleagues and President Obama to act and make the effort to find solutions that will help unleash America’s entrepreneurial spirit. In the meantime, House Republicans will continue to bring forth proposals in the months ahead that promote economic freedom and opportunity,” said House Republican Policy Committee Chairman Tom Price (R-Ga.), adding that “the level of economic growth in America continues to disappoint and underperform.”
“As demonstrated in today’s disappointing jobs report, President Obama’s policies have failed and have left far too many Americans without jobs – including more than 50 percent of recent college graduates,” said Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas), chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee. “Additionally, GDP grew at a sluggish rate of 1.9 percent in the first quarter of this year – further highlighting the need for real reforms to spur economic growth.”
They also lashed out at the president and his policies on Twitter.
“Today’s disappointing unemployment report is yet another reminder that, after 3 yrs, the presidents policies are failing the American people,” Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas) tweeted.
“Today’s jobs report is simply unacceptable and shows our economy is getting worse. We need a new President with new policy approaches,” tweeted Rep. Mary Bono Mack (R-Calif.).
Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), though, tried to fight back with her own tweet: “The jobs report makes clear we have more work to do for the middle class. Yet GOP won’t offer jobs plan, just tax breaks for millionaires.”