President Barack Obama finally reached the lowest level of unemployment during his presidency; that is at the end of his presidency. Liberal journalists touted his success, while some knocked President-Elect Donald Trump.
Obama’s second term is nearly over and the recovery he presided over so weak and slow, it took nearly eight years for unemployment to drop to that level. That didn’t stop two journalists from applauding Obama.
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On Dec. 2, Washington Post columnist Jonathan Capehart tweeted, “178K jobs created. 4.6% unemployment, lowest since 2007. #ThanksObama.”
178K jobs created. 4.6% unemployment, lowest since 2007. #ThanksObama— Jonathan Capehart (@CapehartJ) December 2, 2016
Politico writer Dan Diamond also pumped up Obama with several tweets. He challenged the narrative that Obamacare would shed jobs, suggested Obama was more successful than Romney would have been as president and ticked off a list of Obama’s accomplishments.
Since Obama took office— Dan Diamond (@ddiamond) December 2, 2016
- 11M new private sector jobs
- 20M-plus gained health insurance
- Unemployment has plunged pic.twitter.com/5wfXcxWAt9
Others reacted to the jobs report with attacks on Trump or his supporters:
Im sure it really pisses off racists & some Trump supporters a Black president helped reduce unemployment & increase job growth. #jobsreport— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) December 2, 2016
Unemployment fell to 4.6% as the U.S. added 178K jobs, so Trump only has to offer 177 more companies tax breaks to keep pace. #JobsReport— Nick Jack Pappas (@Pappiness) December 2, 2016
Deputy Digital Editor at Fortune Stephen Gandel spun the jobs report as the economy overcoming Trump’s win saying, “Donald Trump’s presidential victory may have caused some employers to hit the pause button, but not many.”
But Obama’s low unemployment rate didn’t happen in a vacuum. Journalists could have mentioned other factors, as well. The news also isn’t as great when it is put into context.
CNS News reported that the economy added 178,000 jobs, but the number of people outside the labor force, or who gave up looking for work in November, hovered near a record high at 95,055,000.
According to Deputy Chief Economist for PNC Bank in Pittsburgh Gus Faucher, the drop in the labor force contributed more to the drop in unemployment than the additional jobs created.
“The substantial drop in the unemployment rate ‘came more from a decline in the labor force, more than an increase in household,’” Faucher said, according to the Dec. 2, New York Times.
Even the liberal Times downplayed the latest jobs report saying it didn’t shift the outlook for the economy.
“For all the arguments about the health of the economy during the presidential race, this latest snapshot of American workers does not radically shift the outlook one way or the other,” the Times wrote.