April’s unemployment numbers came out today:
29.7 million are unemployed.
Labor force participation is at its lowest since 1981, which means the actual unemployment number is much higher than 8.1%.
As has been the case for the past two years, a surge in hiring at the start of the year has slowed to a trickle. The drop in unemployment from 8.2 percent is not much of a victory for President Barack Obama, even though it’s the best jobless rate since his inauguration at the start of 2009. That’s because the decline is largely explained by people giving up on their job hunts and the participation rate dipping to 63.6 percent last month — its lowest point since December 1981.
Yet through it all, Obama remains unruffled and keeps his cool.
Contrast the stark assessment above with Obama’s rosier depiction (followed by a non-sequitur):
Speaking at a high school in Arlington, Va., Obama called the report “good news,” yet stuck to his long-time argument that more federal help is needed to fully recover from the financial meltdown that happened almost four years ago. He criticized House Republicans for not reaching an agreement with Democrats on stopping interest rates on government subsidized student loans from doubling.
There came a point during the Iraq War where President Bush’s resoluteness and steadfast leadership began to be perceived as unrealistic hope and not aligned with the facts on the ground. Only so much bad news can come into the nation’s awareness before a president publicly touting the opposite makes him look disconnected from reality. For Bush, his upbeat optimism made him look oblivious. Continue reading