After the GOP victory in the November 2010 elections, with a net pickup of 63 House seats and 6 Senate seats, the Obama Administration has been attempting to cultivate a moderate, centrist image to regain its footing with the American public. President Obama’s deal with Republicans to extend the Bush tax cuts, which would have expired on January 1, 2011, and his personnel shakeups in the White House worked to improve Obama’s standing with the public to above the critical 50% level by the end of January 2011.
However, in the past week, President Obama has now returned to the approximate level of public approval prior to the November elections, with about 45% of the public approving of his performance. The two main daily pollsters, Rasmussen Reports and Gallup, demonstrate this recent decline in approval, with Gallup measuring 45% approval/47% disapproval and Rasmussen showing 46% approval/53% disapproval. The mainstream media has yet to report upon this end to Obama’s polling resurgence, despite the lavish attention paid to the rise in ratings. Rasmussen reported on this recent slide today in its report:
The president’s Approval Index ratings have fallen nine points since Monday as the crisis in Egypt unfolds. Most of the decline comes from a fall in the number who Strongly Approve of the president’s performance (30% on Monday, 23% now). However, for the first time since mid-December, the number who Strongly Disapprove has moved back over the 40% mark for five straight days. The Strongly Disapprove total had been above 40% for most of 2010 but fell to the high-30s after the president and Senate Republicans reached a deal to extend the Bush Administration tax cuts.
The major issue commanding media coverage in the past week or so has been the ongoing protests in Egypt against President Mubarak’s regime. The inconsistent and highly publicized statements of the Administration about the crisis, from Vice President Biden asserting that Mubarak was not a dictator and shouldn’t resign to Obama’s recent demands that Mubarak “immediately” begin a transition to a new government, may have unsettled some Americans who were moving in Obama’s direction in response to his post-election centrist manoeuvrings. Unfortunately for President Obama, it appears that his Administration’s handling of the crisis may have again soured the middle 10% of the country on his leadership.
Despite oft-repeated claims by many economists in the establishment media that 50,000 private jobs would be added this month, the American private sector lost 23,000 jobs in March 2010, again throwing cold water on the Obama Administration’s repeated claims that their policies are creating jobs. Bloomberg has the story:
Companies in the U.S. unexpectedly cut payrolls in March, according to data from a private report based on payrolls.
The 23,000 decline was the smallest in two years and followed a revised 24,000 drop the prior month, data from ADP Employer Services showed today.
Apparently America’s companies, both big business and small business, simply do not believe that the Obama economic recovery is any more than “just words” and accordingly they are not hiring:
Companies are still hesitant to add workers until they see sustained sales gains and are convinced the economic recovery has taken hold. Economists surveyed by Bloomberg News anticipate the government’s report April 2 will show payrolls increased by 184,000, in part due to temporary hiring by the federal government to conduct the 2010 census and because of better weather compared with February.
“The economic recovery has not been long enough or strong enough along the way yet to produce the kind of rapid employment that people are hoping for,” Joel Prakken, chairman of Macroeconomic Advisers LLC in St. Louis, which produces the figures with ADP, said in a conference call with reporters after the report.
The ADP figures were forecast to show a gain of 40,000 jobs, according to the median estimate of 35 economists surveyed by Bloomberg. Projections ranged from a loss of 20,000 to a 100,000 gain.
Economists also predicted job creation in February 2010, and were wrong, but, amazingly, blamed the weather. The Obama Administration picked up on that weather excuse and has run with it for the entirety of March while claiming that March 2010 would see very substantial job creation. Now that ADP, the nation’s largest private payroll processor and premier private jobs data source, has “unexpectedly” shown yet more private job loss, it will be interesting to see what type of spin or excuse the Obama Administration creates to explain away the latest evidence of the failure of their economic policies.
Stock fell early Wednesday after a payroll company’s report provided a sobering reminder that the job market remains weak.
ADP said employers slashed 23,000 jobs in March. Economists surveyed by Thomson Reuters had forecast the report would show employers added 40,000 jobs during the month.
The ADP report is seen as an early indicator of the Labor Department’s employment report due out Friday. However, there can be wide variations because ADP only accounts for private-sector jobs.
Economists expect the Labor Department’s report to show employers added 190,000 jobs in March. It would be only the second monthly increase in jobs since the recession began in late 2007. The number could be somewhat inflated because the government hired temporary workers to conduct the 2010 census.
During an interview yesterday with CNBC, U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner said, “I think you can say generally that as the economy is getting stronger — and the economy is getting stronger. You know, we’re probably just on the verge now, of what we think to be a sustained period of job creation, finally.”
The Obama administration will keep up its efforts to “reinforce that recovery” and also preserve recent gains in financial stability, Geithner also said.
As it is almost certain the hundreds of thousands of three-month temporary Census worker jobs will result in an overall jobs report that shows job creation in March 2010 on Friday (the DOL release), it is clear from the ADP data today that sustainable, private sector job creation has not been spurred by 14 months of Obama economic policies, notwithstanding Obama Administration commentary from Geithner and others. Even CNBC, well-known Obama Administration cheerleaders, admits this:
ADP said employers slashed 23,000 jobs from payrolls in March, which came as a surprise to economists, who had expected to 50,000 jobs were added last month.
The ADP report is closely watched ahead of the government’s jobs report on Friday. Economists currently expect that report to show 200,000 jobs were added to nonfarm payrolls in March. And, that report could still show job growth, largely due to heavy hiring of government workers to conduct the Census.
The bottom line is that the establishment media will ignore the ADP private sector jobs report from today, and herald Friday’s DOL report as evidence that the Obama Administration jobs policies have succeeded, despite the clear evidence to contrary that only temporary Census workers will artificially push up the jobs numbers. The key question now is whether the American people, who feel the pain of continued private sector job loss every day, will buy what the Administration and establishment media are selling.