Democrats braced for a miserable jobs report Friday--forecasters predicted just 75,000 would have been added--but the tally turned out to be not so bad. The economy added 117,000 jobs--154,000 in the private sector minus 37,000 lost in the public sector--during July. It was not a repeat of last month's disastrous report, which found that just 18,000 jobs had been created in June. Still, the news isn't great--at least, not for President Obama. As The Washington Post's Aaron Blake and Chris Cillizza explain, "Even if 100,000 jobs are created, it will be less than half the number of jobs--255,000, according to Republican economic consultant Matt McDonald--that need to be created every month for the unemployment rate to dip below 8 percent by Election Day 2012." The higher the unemployment rate, they argue, the harder it is for Obama to get elected.
Former Bush adviser Matt McDonald dubs this the "The Economy That Cried Recovery," because "We are continually revising down estimates of growth, revising up estimates of joblessness, and all the while robust growth always seems to be forecast for 'next quarter.'"
ABC News' Jake Tapper hammered White House press secretary Jay Carney on Obama's inability to grow jobs Thursday, asking "But what is the President doing? ... He went to fundraisers last night. What is he doing today? ...He stood up there and hectored Congress about all the stuff that needs to be done to help create jobs, and this needs to take place.... and then he flew off to Chicago. What’s he doing today? ... the same stuff he was doing a couple of months ago, calling on Congress to pass things?"