The January Jobs Report has shown a significant drop in the overall unemployment number as the government reports a move to 9.0% from 9.4% . A nearly half-point drop in the jobs number will be seen by many as important, but behind that number is a startling statistic. Job growth was significantly less than expected. Dismally lower than expected. Only 36,000 new jobs were created in January and that was 110,000 fewer than anticipated in earlier reports;
WASHINGTON (AP) — Economic growth is gaining momentum, with factories busy and service firms expanding, but one critical area still lags: job creation.
The Labor Department will issue its January jobs report Friday, and economists are forecasting that it will show only modest hiring. Employers are expected to add a net total of 146,000 new jobs. That's barely enough to keep up with population growth. The unemployment rate is likely to tick up to 9.5 percent from 9.4 percent in December.
If you recall, December's Jobs Report showed a drop to 9.4% unemployment on anemic job creation of 106,000 jobs. That drop in unemployment was credited to a large group of people, over 240,000 of them, just giving up on the job search.
Job creation is going to take the spotlight as there are an average 5,000 job seekers in every county across the country, but 36,000 new jobs works out to fewer than 12 jobs added per county. The government tells us we need 240,000 jobs added each month to lower the unemployment number and yet last month the number dropped significantly, why only 36,000 new jobs were added. Are we to assume that several hundred thousand people have given up on finding work?
Aside from the obvious benefit all Americans will reap if and when the economy improves and more people are back to work, the unemployment number looms to any politician hoping to be re-hired in the 2012 elections. MSNBC's Chris Matthews appeared on Morning Joe today and made a bold statement about the unemployment number and the President's future;
"He needs to get that number to 8, if he get to 8, he gets re-elected."