More Bad News on the Jobs Front…And More Apathy from Lawmakers
Government officials just released the latest unemployment numbers. The rate has jumped up to 8.2 percent.
This is, of course, depressing news. It’s been three years since the supposed end of the financial crisis — yet this country’s job market still hasn’t recovered. We’re a long way from full employment. Joblessness has lingered north of 8 percent for three years. And, shockingly, things look like they’re getting worse.
Case in point: In May, the economy produced just 69,000 jobs — that’s a steep drop-off from the somewhat brighter figures poster earlier this year. A monthly job creation rate like that is too low to even keep up with population growth. And the figure from April — 77,000 new jobs was adjusted downward.
This bad news about jobs comes at an inopportune time for President Barack Obama. There’s a strong correlation between stagnant employment numbers and incumbents getting kicked out of office.
Mitt Romney’s camp knows how to exploit this issue. The economy has long been the top priority for voters — even when times were good. And Mitt’s team has taken a page from the Reagan ’80 playbook and is now explicitly asking voters, “Are you better off now than you were four years ago?”
A new ad from the Romney camp specifically targets Latino voters with this jobs messaging. This population has been hit particularly hard in recent months — the most recent government estimates clock Hispanic unemployment at 11 percent.
Smart political strategy? Maybe. But it does make you wonder if the GOP is more interested in simply exploiting the jobs situation to score political points than crafting serious public policies to relieve their suffering.
Inaction simply isn’t an option. Neither is political posturing.
Over 27 million Americans need jobs … NOW! And the only proven way to get them back to work is a Works Progress Administration (WPA) 2.0.
FDR’s WPA created 8.5 million jobs between 1935 and 1943. That initiative was crucial in digging America out of the Great Depression and getting the economy back on its feet.
A modern-day WPA would have the same effects. It’s precisely what this nation needs to pull itself out of the jobs crisis.