Headed in the Wrong Direction

June 1, 2012

Today the Department of Labor released their latest monthly jobs report. As Keith Hall, a senior fellow at George Mason University said, “It’s just headed in the wrong direction.” The report detailed a gain of 69,000 jobs, far lower than the 150,000 analysts had predicted for the month of May.

This is the second straight month that the report has been below what analysts predicted, and April’s revised job report now is 49,000 less than originally reported. Overall unemployment rose slightly to 8.2 percent while “real” unemployment, the number including those who have given up looking for work, also rose. The bleak jobs report comes at a tough time for the economy, as other indicators have also pointed to a slowdown in the coming summer months.

While U.S. growth slowed from 2.2 percent to 1.9 percent of GDP, consumer confidence also saw a small drop from 70.4 to 64.9 points. Economists and analysts blame the poor jobs report on rising tensions in Europe, slowdown of growth in China and India, and possible Middle East tensions. While international affairs no doubt have an affect on growth here in the U.S., when will Congress and the administration begin to take responsibility for an economy that remains stagnant?

Speaking on the new report and the economic outlook for the country, Bernard Baumohl, chief global economist for the Economic Outlook Group said, “There is such a lack of clarity where the economy is heading that companies are apprehensive about significantly ramping up hiring.” It has been a year since the jobs report had a number as low as the one reported today. It has been a year of uncertainty from Congress and the administration on taxes, the debt, deficits and a budget for the nation. Until Congress and the administration put forth real budget and economic proposals to solve the fiscal issues facing our country, that lack of certainty is bound to stay.

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