Will President Obama receive a convention bump in support after the Democratic National Convention? It’s too soon to tell but one thing is for sure — the August job numbers won’t be helping him.
The U.S. economy added a sluggish 96,000 jobs in the month of August and unemployment fell from 8.2 percent to 8.1 percent. Latino unemployment went from 10.3 percent to 10.2.
A total of 368,000 people dropped out of the civilian labor force and for the 43rd straight month unemployment was over 8 percent.
There are silver linings for Obama however. A sluggish economy isn’t exactly news to Americans, and while things aren’t great, dropping below the 8 percent unemployment number is a psychological barrier that could mean progress in the right direction to many in the country.
The president has consistently polled just a smidge ahead of challenger Mitt Romney, despite the state of the economy and he used his speech last night to argue that while progress has been slow, it has been there and he should get four more years to finish the job.
When it comes to job numbers, the interesting fact is how often they are wrong. According to the Washington Post, “over the past three years, the employment report has understated how many jobs were created by as much as 99,000 and overstated it by as much as 86,000. The nation dwells on the number when it comes out, but nobody pays attention when the number is updated.”
For Obama, the key to his re-election won’t necessarily be how much voters were paying attention, but whether they blame him for the slow pace of the country’s economic recovery.