- Last Updated: 12:29 AM, May 5, 2012
- Posted: May 05, 2012
Anemic. Meager. Sluggish. Lackluster.
Those were just some of the words used yesterday to describe the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics monthly jobs report.
About the only good news for President Obama is that unemployment officially dropped a notch, from 8.2 percent to 8.1.
But it’s a measure of just how desperate the employment situation has become that even the good news is actually bad news.
That’s because the jobless downtick wasn’t caused by unemployed workers finding jobs — but by long-term jobless people leaving the workforce for good.
Indeed, 342,000 more workers are no longer actively looking for jobs (and are no longer counted in unemployment figures).
That more than offset the job-creation figure of 115,000 — itself far below even the lowball predictions of most economists.
Which means that the percentage of Americans either employed or actively looking for work has fallen to 63.6 percent — the lowest in more than three decades.
Besides, last winter’s stronger-than-expected job figures now look like the result of the unseasonably warm weather rather than any economic recovery.
All in all, it’s not a pretty picture.
And it’s not one that President Obama can keep blaming on his predecessor, though the White House tried just that yesterday.
Obama essentially shrugged off the depressing news, citing “the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression.”
In other words, don’t forget what I inherited from you-know-who.
But while no one understates the severity of the crisis he encountered upon taking office, it’s also true that this has been the weakest recovery since the Depression.
Unemployment has remained above 8 percent for 30 straight months — the longest stretch since monthly records started being kept back in 1948.
Obama’s much-touted green-jobs program has produced nothing in the way of jobs — and much more in the way of failed companies and billions in government-subsidized losses.
The president won’t be able to shrug off this situation for much longer — because it’s an age-old truism in US politics that people vote their pocketbooks.
And, as Bill Clinton’s campaign so memorably put it, when you come right down to the issues, “it’s the economy, stupid.”Follow @NYPostOpinion