May 4, 2012 | By ThinkProgress War Room
4.2 MILLION Private Sector Jobs
Most of the press coverage of today’s jobs report has been focused on the two topline findings — that the economy created a less-than-expected 115,000 jobs last month and that the unemployment rate edged down slightly to 8.1 percent. While these numbers are certainly important, they miss the forest for the trees.
The biggest news today is the economy has now recovered all of the private sector jobs lost since President Obama took office. The Center for American Progress’ Michael Linden explains:
Unfortunately, the news is not nearly so good when it comes to the public sector, where there are currently 607,000 fewer people working than there were when President Obama took office.The chart below tells the whole story. Under President Obama, the private sector experienced a relatively robust recovery, and is now back to where it started when he took office. But due in large part to spending cuts at the state and local level, the public sector continues to shed jobs, and as a result, the overall jobs picture in the United States remains weak.Keep this chart in mind the next time you hear someone rail about “big government” and complain about the slow pace of overall job creation.
The job losses at the state and local level could have been significantly curtailed if conservatives had not rejected a larger (or additional) aid package for state and local governments. Last fall, Republicans, of course, also rejected the president’s jobs plan that would keep hundreds of thousands of teachers, cops, firefighters, and others on the job. What’s more, the deep spending cuts being proposed under the Romney-Ryan GOP budget plan would only dig the hole deeper.
IN ONE SENTENCE: Instead of the GOP plan to slam the brakes on the recovery and go back to the Bush economic policies that caused this mess in the first place, we need Congress to get serious about passing a jobs bill to help the millions of Americans still looking for work.