To the extent that it was there at all, there was far too little emphasis in yesterday’s wire service reporting on yesterday’s OMG-awful jobs report (worse than most believe, as will be shown in a later post) was far less on those who continue to be affected — like, say, the unemployed, under-employed and discouraged, who should be the object of such news stories — and far too much concentration on what it might mean for President Obama’s reelection prospects.
This was noticeable yesterday at Bloomberg, Reuters, and of course at the Associated Press, aka the Administration’s Press. Excerpts follow the jump (bolds are mine).
Bloomberg, a wire service which is supposedly strictly business, was the most blatant in headlining the job-growth slowdown as problem for Dear Leader’s “re-election momentum” (he had some?):
Obama Re-Election Momentum Hits Snag in April Jobs Report
A slowdown in job growth in April cuts the economic momentum behind President Barack Obama’s re- election bid as he prepares to officially begin campaigning.
U.S. employers added 115,000 workers to payrolls in April, the smallest gain in six months. The unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent as fewer people sought work.
… Private payrolls crossed a boundary in April to positive territory during Obama’s term, with a net gain of 35,000 since he took office in January 2009. Total payrolls remain lower than when Obama was inaugurated because there are 607,000 fewer federal, state and local government employees.
That stimulus really did a great job of saving government employee jobs, didn’t it?
As to private payrolls finally going positive under Obama’s tenure according to the Establishment Survey of businesses — that’s nice, but the results of the separate Household Survey based on interviews with individual households (which is why the numbers don’t tie) tells us that since January 2009, the economy is still down by 1.352 million seasonally adjusted full-time jobs and up by 1.08 million part-timers. No, I’m not impressed either.
Reuters also got Obama’s reelection prospects into its headline:
Hiring slows, spells trouble for economy, Obama
Employers cut back on hiring in April and more people stopped looking for work, troubling signs for President Barack Obama whose re-election prospects could hinge on his handling of the economy.
Employers added 115,000 workers to payrolls last month, the Labor Department said on Friday. It was the third straight month in which hiring had slowed, intensifying fears the U.S. recovery is losing momentum.
Even a slight drop in the unemployment rate to 8.1 percent had a dark tone because the fall was due entirely to people dropping out of the workforce.
“The bottom line is you don’t have evidence that this economy has reached escape velocity,” said Robert Tipp, an investment strategist at Prudential Fixed Income.
… The report could rattle nerves at the White House. Weak U.S. growth and high unemployment create a formidable headwind for Obama, who entered office during the darkest days of the 2007-09 recession.
For the record, the recession as normal people define it lasted from July 2008 until June 2009, which the one as the National Bureau of Economic Research has (in my view erroneously) defined went from December 2007 until June 2009.
At the AP, two stories by business writers Christopher Rugaber and Paul Wiseman fretted over Obama’s reelection prospects. In the first, In the second, they acted as if a U.S. president can’t possibly influence what it takes for job creation to take place, i.e., economic growth:
(6:21 p.m.) Job growth slowed again in April; rate ticks down
… From December through February, employers added 252,000 jobs a month on average. But the figure dipped in March and dropped further in April, raising doubts about an economic recovery that can’t seem to reach escape velocity.
The report Friday by the Labor Department indicated “an economy that is losing momentum – especially on the jobs front,” said Tom Porcelli, chief U.S. economist at RBC Capital Markets.
It also dealt a blow to President Barack Obama’s re-election prospects. His presumed Republican opponent, Mitt Romney, called the report “very disappointing.”
(6:21 p.m.) A recipe for more jobs: Stronger economic growth
U.S. job growth slumped in April for a second straight month. It suggested an economy that is growing steadily but still sluggishly, which could further tighten a close presidential race.
Isn’t it nice that the press is looking out for Dear Leader’s well-being? Actually, no. If a Republican or conservative president were in office, the press would be interviewing the unemployed and finding victims. They were doing exactly that during the Bush Administration when unemployment was below 6%. I don’t find touching. That they mostly aren’t doing so now quite annoying — and as if it matters to them any more, quite unprofessional.
Cross-posted at NewsBusters.org.