by Benjamin J. Kirby
Well, those June jobs numbers came out, and though the economy added jobs, it wasn't enough. Not nearly enough.
U.S. employers added only 80,000 jobs in June, a third straight month of weak hiring that shows the economy is still struggling three years after the recession ended.
The unemployment rate was unchanged at 8.2 percent, the Labor Department said Friday.
The economy added an average of just 75,000 jobs a month in the April-June quarter - one-third of the pace in the first quarter.
Well, that news certainly doesn't add much to that chart the White House loves:
Those two lower bars at the far-right now get a third one that looks just like them. Still on the plus-side of the ledger, unlike Obama's predecessor, to be sure. But now we're at a streak of lower-end employment figures, nothing like where we were around winter of 2010 and spring of 2011, or so.
Does this have an impact on the election this November? Smarter folks than me have commented on this, but I'd just go ahead and say the short answer is "yes". It's the economy -- it's all going to have an impact on the election. But in an aggregate sort of way. How will people be feeling around the end of October, beginning of November? If there's a significant bounce from the last three months, they'll feel pretty good.
So it's a whole-picture kind of thing. And the whole picture just hasn't been painted yet.
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Speaking of cool things out of the White House, I love the "to-do" list for Congress.
Pick your favorite and share it, but mine is the "expaning refinancing for responsible homeowners" piece. Selfish, sure, but it also makes for good politics and great public policy.
I started a conversation a few years ago not just about a third political party in America, but the idea that one of the two major parties could split into two viable parties. It will most certainly take more than an egghead like Posner to make that happen on the Republican side. Still, you can't look at the presidential primary the GOP just went through and not think the
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Once again my friends at Progress Florida have seen fit to honor me with a Best of the Blogs this week. This time it's for my Independence Day ramblings about how we really need one another. I hope they know I really appreciate them and the important work they do.
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Don't forget: I'm in Twitter World, @bkirby816
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All you Blues Traveler haters can suck it. I had their self-titled first release and "four," and maintain they are, to this day, solid rock/blues albums. I saw them play Memphis in May in the early 1990s, and they were amazing.
Also, the anwer to your question is: the late Ken Ober is the familiar looking lazy guy on the couch.
It's finally Friday.