The August jobs report, released today, revealed another month of slow growth, with the number of new jobs falling below economist expectations. The disappointing figures create an obstacle for Obama during his campaign to remain president. The chief executive himself labeled the report "not good enough."
Only 96,000 new jobs were created in August, much less than the 163,000 jobs created in July, and just below the threshold of 100,000 to 150,000 new jobs needed each month to keep pace with the growth of working-age population.
"The broad message here is flat, flat, flat," said economist Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Center. “A stagnant report when the unemployment rate is over 8 percent represents a continuation of the crisis.”
The bleak news was music to the ears of Republicans, who claim that Obama's policies inhibit job production and have only worsened the state of the economy.
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“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 Party Chairman Reince Priebus.
The weak August employment report "just goes to show that nobody in the administration really appreciated early on the depth of the hole we fell into in 2008," said Ross Baker, a political science professor at Rutgers University. "It took five years to get out of the Great Depression," he said, people shouldn't be surprised "if this recovery is half as long."
Nigel Gault, chief U.S. economist for IHS Global, said that, if he were advising the Obama campaign, "I'd say we're still creating jobs, though not at a satisfactory pace. It shows how important it is to stick with us and let the policies we put in place bear fruit."
But, Gault added, "I'm more optimistic that whoever wins the presidency, the next four years will be much better than the past four years."
Obama admitted that job production clearly is "not good enough," calling the road to recovery "a long, tough journey."