The spring of Obama’s jobs discontent


Steve Rattner, the former “car czar” and current economic analyst for MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” brought his usual charts to the program today. But he made an interesting observation about the anemic job growth in May that bears repeating: Three previous three springs of the Obama administration have seen a downturn in jobs creation.

In the beginning of 2010, we begin to see some recovery. We get some months of jobs over 200,000. But we also get, and this is relevant to what we’re seeing now, we get three springs in a row of weak job creation. And we don’t know whether this may have some technical factors in how they calculate the numbers. It may just be a seasonal slowdown. Or this time, and obviously the markets were thoroughly destabilized, it could be something worse.

According to Rattner, part of the problem is that job losses in a quarter of the economy — construction, government and financial sector — are dragging down the recovery. He also mentioned that the Washington’s penchant for creating economic policy six months at a time is feeding the uncertainty that is destabilizing the U.S. economy. The question for the president is whether the usual bounce-back in job creation will happen in time for the November elections — assuming it happens at all.

Jonathan Capehart is a member of the Post editorial board and writes about politics and social issues for the PostPartisan blog.

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