The latest jobs numbers from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
The unemployment rate declined from 7.0 percent to 6.7 percent in December, while total nonfarm payroll employment edged up (+74,000), the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment rose in retail trade and wholesale trade but was down in information. …
House speaker John Boehner released a statement Tuesday concerning "'emergency' unemployment insurance" (Boehner's quotation marks) and criticizing President Obama for not offering a plan to extend unemployment insurance that would include provisions to "put people back to work." Here's the statement:
Those employed by the government may be back at work but many, many others are not. Which has been the case for so long now that it is no longer news. Not so long as it is possible to discuss who won and who lost the epic Battle of the Ceiling.
The Labor Department announced Monday the awarding of $64 million in grants to help unemployment insurance recipients find work more quickly. The funds will be divided up between thirty-eight states, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the District of Columbia. Acting Labor Secretary Seth Harris announced the awards:
The first of this week's three big employment numbers was released this morning. Tomorrow, we will learn the first-time claims number. Friday, the unemployment number and rate for the previous month. As this item from Reuters indicates, the signs are not good:
With the latest jobs report, it is now the case that "Under Obama, Food Stamp Growth [Is] 75 Times Greater Than Job Creation," according to statistics compiled by the Republican side of the Senate Budget Committee. "For Every Person Added to Jobs Rolls Since January 2009, 75 People Added To Food Stamp Rolls."
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the biggest change in employment over the last month affected black workers. In September, the unemployment rate for blacks was 13.4 percent. In October, that number jumped to 14.3 percent, an almost a full percentage point change, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Unemployment for whites remained steady at 7 percent.
Likewise, the unemployment rate remain unchanged for teenagers (23.7 percent) and adult men (7.3 percent).
Until now, most forecasters have been framing the assumptions underlying their projections on what they assume a reelected Barack Obama would do about taxes, appointments to the Federal Reserve Board, spending, the deficit and a host of other policies. Suddenly, they are back to the drawing board. Polls are showing something inconceivable to the American media and foreign observers: Mitt Romney is closing in on the president, and might even hold a slight lead.
“Well, we’ve gone through a tough four years.” That line from Tuesday night’s presidential debate wasn’t particularly surprising. It was, after all, exactly what one would expect Mitt Romney to say about President Obama’s tenure in office. What was surprising was that it wasn’t Romney who uttered those words. It was Obama.