William Katz:  Urgent Agenda






EMPLOYMENT PICTURE STAYS GRIM – AT 8:57 A.M. ET:  Where is this recovery the administration is talking about?  Have you seen it?  Has it passed by your house?   Do they send trucks out with loudspeakers to announce it?

A new employment report is utterly grim.  It is hard to see how this will turn around in time for the presidential election.  From Bloomberg:

Companies in the U.S. added fewer workers than forecast in May, a sign that job growth is struggling to gain momentum, data from a private report based on payrolls showed today.

Employment increased by 38,000 last month, the smallest increase since September, from a revised 177,000 in April, according to figures from ADP Employer Services. The median estimate in the Bloomberg News survey called for a 175,000 advance for May.

Such gains in employment are insufficient to help the world’s largest economy accelerate after a surge in food and fuel costs earlier this year. Businesses added 207,000 jobs last month after a 268,000 gain in April and the jobless rate dipped to 8.9 percent from 9 percent, economists project a Labor Department report to show in two days.

“It is a warning shot across the bow that job growth is also weakening along with the other high frequency numbers,” Eric Green, chief market economist at TD Securities Inc. in New York, said in an e-mailed note to clients. “The weakness reflects a general slowdown and turn in sentiment that set in with the sharp rise in energy prices, disruptions from Japan, and to a lesser extent risk aversion stemming from the Greek fiasco.”

COMMENT:  What record does Barack Obama intend to run on?  The economy is a wreck, our foreign policy is an embarrassment.  What, precisely, is his argument for reelection? 

Apparently, he doesn't need one.  A devoted press will help him, and a built-in base that will never abandon him will aid in launching his bid for a second term.  As we've said here, the GOP must respond with a terrific candidate and a coherent program that people will understand and embrace. 

The election is 17 months away.

June 1, 2011