The nation's economy added 115,00 jobs in April while the unemployment rate dropped one-tenth of a point to 8.1 percent.
The figures are lower than a month ago and were also below what many analysts had expected.
They will add to the sense that the labor market is cooling down after months of stronger growth, and come as unwelcome news for President Obama, who is formally launching his reelection campaign on Friday with rallies in Virginia and Ohio.
But is it actually slower -- or are we experiencing a correction after a period of unnaturally faster than normal growth? It turns out that we can probably blame the weather -- of all things -- for our current bumpy ride.
[Economix, New York Times:]
It’s tempting to look at Friday’s weak jobs report and conclude that the economy has entered a significant new slowdown. But it may not be correct.
Just as sober economists understood that the burst of economic growth and hiring at the end of late 2011 and start of 2012 was probably fleeting, there is reason to think the weak growth of the last two months may not last, either. The true underlying trend may be somewhere between the good news of January and February (caused in part by warm weather, which pulled forward various spending) and the disappointing news of March and April (because some spending that would normally have happened then instead happened earlier).
It sounds a lot more like an excuse than an explanation, I know. But if you don't trust the commie NYT, check the Wall Street Journal, which came to the same conclusion. Figure in that previous artificial warm weather bump with the current artificial valley and we see a pretty steady -- if slow -- recovery. Republicans who will no doubt be doing the happy dance today (because bad news for America is always good news for Republicans) might want to keep the bottles corked. America is probably not heading for a second recession, as much as they're rooting for widespread misery, hunger, and homelessness.
Is the recovery happening too slowly? I think if you asked anyone, they'd say yeah. But in a recovery where further stimulus is strictly verboten and Republican governors are inflating unemployment numbers with public worker layoffs and other attacks on consumer demand, you're getting about the best you can expect. Recovery is handicapped by the deliberately destructive among us. They're trying to drag America down, in order to get Mitt Romney elected. But so far they're failing.
The nation is a little more resilient than they'd counted on.