In April 1984, the U.S. economy added 363,000 jobs. Unemployment fell to 7.7 percent after a high of 10.8 percent in November 1982. After the most severe recession since World War II, President Reagan was able to ride the healthy economy to a 49-state landslide in November.
Today, the Labor Department announced that the U.S. economy added just 115,000 jobs. Analysts had expected 165,000 jobs. Unemployment is down slightly to 8.1 percent, but only because more and more Americans have stopped looking for work and dropped out of the labor force entirely. If the US labor force was the same size as when Obama took office, the unemployment rate would be 11 percent.
This is the third year in a row that after some false hope in the winter, the Obama recovery has failed to take hold in the spring. Gallup reported earlier this week that Obama’s job approval rating is right on the border between those incumbents who have gone on to win, and those who have failed. If the economy struggles through the summer this year, the same way it did the last two years, Obama has to be considered the underdog.
Obama: Encouraged by the success of the group’s first webvideo, Veterans for a Strong America Executive Director Joel Arends plans to find more Navy SEALs and Special Forces operators who want to criticize the White House during the 2012 campaign. Karl Rove tweeted out approval of the ad yesterday, suggesting the group will get more funding.
Romney: Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum have a private meeting Friday in Pittsburgh, Pa. Today, Romney is campaigning in Cleveland where he penned an op-ed for the Cleveland Plain-Dealer: “Welcome to Ohio. I have a simple question for you: Where are the jobs?”