The May jobs report
came out this morning, and it looks grim: The economy added a mere 69,000 jobs last month, and the unemployment rate ticked up to 8.2 percent.
Making matters worse, the number of jobs added in March and April were revised lower. There were a couple of bright spots: More people jumped into the job market, and manufacturing jobs continued to trend up.
Still, economists and financial editors are saying the numbers point to another spring slowdown in the economy, despite a sustained—if slow—recovery.
For the Obama campaign, the report dropped like a bomb. The liberal Huffington Post
ran with a banner headline saying: “Jobs Report Disaster.”
The Dow Jones Industrial average dropped 200 points this morning after the report.
On the White House blog
, Alan B. Krueger, the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, acknowledge the poor numbers. “The economy is growing but it is not growing fast enough,” he wrote.
Krueger tried to frame the issue, stressing that the economy is still recovering from the worst collapse since the great depression and insisting that the nation stick to the president’s economic policies.
“As the administration stresses every month, the monthly employment and unemployment figures can be volatile, and employment estimates can be subject to substantial revision. 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.”
Meanwhile, GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney called the numbers “devastating news.”
“This week has seen a cascade of one bad piece of economic news after another,” Romney said in a press release
. “It is now clear to everyone that President Obama’s policies have failed to achieve their goals and that the Obama economy is crushing America’s middle class.”
He also took to Twitter, saying:
President Obama’s Twitter account
didn’t mention the report (instead it offered a car magnet in exchange for a $10 campaign donation). The president is slated to speak about the economy this afternoon at an event in Minnesota.