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Returning from Hawaii. (Photo/WWR)

Friday, May 7, 2010

The West Wing Today: May 7, 2010

Jobs, jobs, jobs.

The economy is growing again and creating jobs. Just not enough of them to make much of a dent in the unemployment rate.

Analysts surveyed for MarketWatch expect the economy to have grown by 185,000 jobs last month - but the unemployment rate holding steady at 9.7%.

Why the slow job growth? After all, the economy has been expanding for nine months now. It grew 2.2% in the third quarter of last year, 5.6% in the forth, and 3.2% in the first quarter of 2010.

"The bad news is that following recessions historically, it takes a long time for employment to come back ot pre-recession levels," says Charles Franklin, a professor at the University of Wisconsin and the co-creator of "It's a very slow recovery on the jobs side even if GDP growth or consumer spending may go up a lot faster."

With November's mid-term election looming, this is fodder for Republicans who blame President Obama and his policies. As House Minority Leader John Boehner is find of saying: "Where are the jobs?"

But what we're seeing is very normal. Franklin compares it to the last bad recession three decades ago.

"The peak unemployment was 10.8% in 1982. It was still 7.4% in '84 when President Reagan was re-elected and it didn't drop below six percent until September of '87. That's fairly typical of how long it takes for jobs to fully come back."

But as even President Obama has said, all of this means nothing to the millions of Americans without a job. He says more of them need to hear the words "You're hired."


The Schedule

Obama has just one public event on his schedule today: 11:00 remarks on the April unemployment figures. He'll be joined by Treasury Secretary Geithner, Secretary of Commerce Locke, Secretary of Labor Solis, Director of the Office of Management and Budget Orszag, Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers Romer and Director of the National Economic Council Summers.


11:00AM THE PRESIDENT makes a statement on the monthly jobs numbers
South Driveway
Pooled TV, Open to correspondents & still photographers (Pre-set 10:00AM – Final Gather 10:30AM – North Doors of the Palm Room)


On This Day

1789 - The first Inaugural Ball was held in New York City.

Presidential Quote

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance." - Thomas Jefferson

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