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article imageThird meager U.S. jobs report sends White House spinning

By Larry Clifton     May 4, 2012 in Politics
More Americans have given up on finding a job and the U.S. economy created a disappointing 115,000 jobs in April just as President Barack Obama attempts to jump start his campaign for re-election.
Most economists had predicted the Labor Department report to show 170,000 jobs created, according to a Reuters report. The April jobs report is the third dissappointing monthly jobs report in a row, however the paltry 115,000 jobs created is the largest decline in job growth so far this year.
"One month does not a trend make," White House economic adviser Alan Krueger told CNBC. "I think it makes sense to average the last few months together and the economy continues to go in a positive direction."
The White House is trying to paint the bad economic report as part of an ongoing economic recovery as Obama visits another college today where his visits are often met with adulation and unwavering support.
Meanwhile, U.S. stocks opened lower on the heels of the Labor Department report and yields on U.S. government bonds declined and the dollar weakened.
Meager jobs creation for a third straight month means hiring has slowed significantly, raising fears that the U.S. recovery is losing momentum, and increases pressure on the Federal Reserve to attempt to boost the economy by easing monetary policy.
"The bottom line is you don't have evidence that this economy has reached escape velocity," said Robert Tipp, an investment strategist at Prudential Fixed Income.
Meanwhile, Mr. Obama’s administration is scrambling to spin back-to-back ominous jobs reports, as evidenced in a White House blog, that seems to blame the entire affair on the Bush administration, a typical if well-worn ploy of this administration to date.
“It is critical that we continue the economic policies that are helping us dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began at the end of 2007,” Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Alan Krueger writes in a White House blog.
The unemployment rate ticked down to 8.1 percent however the economy needs to add more than 176,000 jobs annually to move the unemployment rate down and economists say the current change reflects a growing number of unemployed Americans have given up on finding work. The jobless rate remains about 2 percentage points higher than its average over the last 50 years, and the Fed thinks the labor market probably will not post a full recovery for at least another several years based on the anemic economic recovery that some analysts claim is underway.
"I don't think Fed policy is going to change at this point," said Sean Incremona, an economist at 4cast. "They obviously are going to be on guard now that employment growth is not picking up and is more likely to slow."
For his part, Republican presumptive nominee Mitt Romney continues to hammer home the point that Obama has done too little to foster economic growth during his term. Romney says the president has prolonged a recession with tax and regulatory policies that have slowed growth and private-sector hiring while bloating government deficits.
More about the obama administration, labor department jobs april, Mitt Romney