The unemployment numbers release Friday aren’t exactly making the Obama administration jump for joy, particularly coming on the heels of President Obama‘s speech at the Democratic National Convention 2012 as he made the case for his re-election, despite these tough economic times.
“Our challenges can be met. The path we’re on may be harder but it leads to a better place,” Obama said Thursday night as he tried to convince voters to choose him over Republican opponent Mitt Romney. ”I’m asking you to choose that future.”
Watch Peter Orszag, Vice Chairman of Citigroup and director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), discuss his hopes for a bright economic future:
Orszag didn’t have an easy job in his last post as director of the OMB as he shaped the stimulus package after the 2008 Wall Street crash, helped formulate health care reform control measures and became the Obama administration’s leading deficit hawk.
“I think the single greatest challenge was that we are living, and we were living, in the aftermath of the financial crisis,” Orszag told genConnect. “You’ve got this urgent need to try to get unemployment down and provide a little bit of a cushion. At the same time, you also have a very rapid increase in debt. So, the duality of, the unemployment rate is skyrocketing, but so are all the debt projections – that was the greatest challenge.”
Obama’s biggest obstacle to re-election may very well be the economy. The U.S. Labor Department said Friday that American employers added just 96,000 jobs last month – a less than stellar result for the Obama administration.
However, one bright spot is that the unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent in July; however, that was only because more people gave uplooking for work. The government only counts people as unemployed if they are actively searching. Meanwhile, 41,000 fewer jobs were created in July and June than anticipated.. The economy has added just 139,000 jobs a month since the beginning of the year, below 2011′s average of 153,000.
Not only that, but 41,000 fewer jobs were created in June and July than previously reported. The percentage of Americans who either have a job or are looking for one, fell to 63.5 percent – the lowest since September 1981.
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