Conventional wisdom (pardon the pun) holds that presidential election season doesn’t begin in earnest until the conventions conclude.
If that’s the case, Barack Obama begins his job extension tour with a faceplant.
Economists expected our economy to add 135,000 new jobs in August, but today’s unemployment report shows just 96,000. Not only is that a steep decline from last month’s already-lackluster 141,000 number, it’s significantly below the 200,000 per month we must see to keep pace with population growth and substantively reduce the festering unemployment rate. Moreover, another 368,000 Americans simply dropped out of the workforce altogether in August, nearly four times the number of new jobs. Finally, the unemployment rate remained above the 8% level that the Obama Administration promised in January 2009 we would never reach in the first place, establishing a new record 43rd consecutive month. In fact, it promised that we would be down to approximately 5% by now.
“Four more years?” Today’s news makes that an increasingly difficult sell.
No president in modern history has been reelected with unemployment above 7.2%, and even that occurred in 1984 when the rate had plummeted in just a few months from over 10%. Accordingly, today’s unemployment report makes for an ugly hangover for Obama and his fellow Democratic conventioneers as they board their planes for home.