With the unemployment rate edging down from 8.3 to 8.1 — yet fewer jobs added than expected — the White House maintained this morning that the Labor Department statistics are “further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression.”
“It is critical that we continue the policies that are building an economy that works for the middle class as we dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007,” said Alan B. Krueger, chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers.
He said that the 15,000 jobs lost in manufacturing last month “is partly payback for there having been relatively few seasonal auto plant shutdowns in July.”
“Over the past 30 months, manufacturers have added more than 500,000 jobs,” Krueger said.
“The economy has now added private sector jobs for 30 straight months, for a total of 4.6 million jobs during that period,” he added.
GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, though, countered that “for every net new job created, nearly four Americans gave up looking for work.”
“If last night was the party, this morning is the hangover,” Romney said. “…After 43 straight months of unemployment above 8%, it is clear that President Obama just hasn’t lived up to his promises and his policies haven’t worked. We aren’t better off than they were four years ago.”
Rep. Kevin Brady (R-Texas), vice chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, called the overall report “more dismal news.”
“Today’s report confirms that the Obama recovery has fallen even further into dead last among the ten recoveries since World War II that lasted more than a year,” Brady said. “Why President Obama celebrates his economic record is beyond me. The inescapable truth is that if the economy had, under Obama’s economic leadership, performed at the average rate of past recoveries, over four million more Americans would working today rather than looking for work.”
“The indisputable message of today’s job report: We’re not creating jobs fast enough, and we’re certainly not better off than we were four years ago,” said Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus. “Time is up, Mr. President.”