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Recovery? What Recovery?

July data showed the unemployment rate dropped from 9.5% to 9.4%. Obama said this was a sign our economy was recovering from the recession and that the worst may be behind us. He offered a caveat, though, and that was he expected the unemployment rate to continue to rise to 10%. Obama has made promise after promise that he has ultimately broken or ignored. Yet, he's working to keep this one?

The U.S. jobless rate in August jumped to 9.7 percent, the highest since 1983, and employers cut another 216,000 jobs, reinforcing concern that consumer spending will slow even as the economy stabilizes.

The increase in the unemployment rate from 9.4 percent exceeded forecasts. The smaller-than-anticipated drop in payrolls was the least in a year, and followed a decrease of 276,000 in July that was larger than previously reported, Labor Department data showed today in Washington.

Rising joblessness underscores Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's judgment that it's "too early" to start exiting from the unprecedented stimulus measures helping stabilize the economy. AMR Corp. and Whirlpool Corp. are among the companies continuing to cut staff to lower costs and revive profits in the aftermath of the deepest recession since the 1930s.

"The labor market's healing process is agonizingly slow," Joshua Shapiro, chief U.S. economist at Maria Fiorini Ramirez Inc. in New York, said before the report. "We expect the improvement to remain a very slow one, and therefore for the household sector to be contending with a weak labor market for some time."

This is the highest rate in 26 years and underscores how laughable Joe Biden's cheerleading session was yesterday. Biden said the stimulus package was even more successful than they anticipated. There were a few issues with his enthusiastic and positive evaluation:

Vice President Joe Biden proclaimed success beyond expectations for the $787 billion economic stimulus, but his glowing assessment overlooks many of the program's problems, including delays in releasing money, questionable spending priorities and project picks that are under investigation.

In a speech aimed squarely at Republican criticism and public skepticism over the costly program's effectiveness, Biden said accomplishments over the past 100 days provide proof of promises kept when he and President Barack Obama began rolling out the plan earlier this year.

"The Recovery Act is doing more, faster and more efficiently and more effectively than most people expected," he said.

Really? When President Obama was selling his stimulus plan back in January and February, he insisted that it was absolutely necessary to keep the unemployment rate below 8%. If we didn't get it, he warned, then the unemployment rate would balloon to *gasp* 9%.

Today, it stands at 9.7%. Way to go, Team Obama.

Update: Ed Morrissey tells us that June and July's numbers were revised upward so the unemployment rate Obama used to argue that a recovery was afoot were even worse than originally thought.


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Comments (8)

"The Recovery Act is doing ... (Below threshold)
engineer:

"The Recovery Act is doing more, faster and more efficiently and more effectively than most people expected," he said.

He added, "Most people only expected a couple special interest groups to get money, we did more, we got the money out to hundreds. And without any oversight, we got it to them faster then expected, and since we used Fedex instead of the Post Office we were more efficient. And effective? How else to you think we can get grassroot union protesters out to those townhall meetings. Yes sirree Bob even I am awed by this."

The economic hurricane may ... (Below threshold)
Mac Lorry:

The economic hurricane may not be blowing as hard, but this disaster isn't over any more than the Katrina disaster was over when the wind quit blowing. It's going to take time and money to repair all the lives that have been disrupted and burdening the economy with idiotic programs like cap and trade is exactly the wrong thing to do.

Yes indeed the worst is beh... (Below threshold)
914:

Yes indeed the worst is behind us.

From now on we can look forward to rosy 10.8 and 12.2% unemployment numbers.

The real number is above 10... (Below threshold)
MPR:

The real number is above 10% when you include the people that have lost benefits or have given up. The lengths the Labor Dept. is going to, to keep it below 10% is laughable. Another way to look at the average of 9.7 is it means it is higher in parts of the country and lower in others. A high unemployment rate in California or Mich. is probably more damaging to the economy than say in a less industrialized part of the country. An unemployed person would probably disagree because there is nothing worse than pounding the pavement to find something, anything. Especially when you're over qualified for the job you and a line of people are applying for. It becomes a morale issue across the country. Businesses are at best treading water and waiting to see just what more the government and Obamalala can do to hamstring them more than they have already. The mood of the country is in a downward spiral and won't pull out of it until this congress and Obamalala are gone.

It is not a recovery if you... (Below threshold)
mag:

It is not a recovery if you lost your job and can't find another...much less a job that is comparative to the one you lost.

If GWB was president the me... (Below threshold)
Kathy:

If GWB was president the media would be wall to wall coverage of anecdotal evidence of widespread suffering. Seen any stories about the impact of the recession? Nah, didn't think so. And you won't either.

Bagdad Bob Media must be on vacation with the O.

Update: This is a surprise?... (Below threshold)
bobdog:

Update: This is a surprise? Now, I hate to be an I tolja so, but...

9.7% uses the massaged numbers. The actual rate, if you include the "discouraged" workers and those being forced to work reduced hours, is approaching 17%.

Odd, "the usual suspects" d... (Below threshold)
GarandFan:

Odd, "the usual suspects" don't appear to want to post on this thread. You'd think the backers of Obamanomics would be here to contribute their thoughts on Barry's great insight and efforts to restore the economy.




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