June 4th, 2010
11:05 AM ET
8 years ago

Obama and GOP disagree on May job numbers

President Obama toured a truck dealership on Friday, where he touted May job numbers.

President Obama toured a truck dealership on Friday, where he touted May job numbers.

Washington (CNN) - The nation's unemployment rate fell to 9.7 percent in May, the Labor Department reported Friday.

That's a drop of two-tenths of a percent from April's 9.9 percent level. Analysts had expected to rate to fall to 9.8 percent.

The Labor Department also reports that the economy added 431,000 jobs in May, the biggest monthly gain since March of 2000. But economists had forecasted a gain of 500,000 jobs.

Of the jobs added, 390,000 were in the government, with the private sector adding 41,000 jobs, down from 218,000 in April.

President Barack Obama said Friday that the economy's addition of 431,000 jobs in May is another sign that an economic recovery is underway, though he also warned that there are going to be "some ups and downs" in the months ahead.

"The economy's getting stronger by the day," he said during a visit to a commercial truck dealership in Hyattsville, Maryland.

But Obama said the recovery's "still in its early stages."

"Even if you put those temporary (Census) jobs aside, there's no doubt we saw another month of private sector job growth," Obama said. The president argued that the new jobs numbers were evidence that his economic program is working.

Obama slammed his Republican opponents, arguing that the country "can't go back to the very same policies that failed us in the last decade."

"I don't want to go backward. I want to move forward," he said, echoing a campaign-style theme he stressed earlier in the week in a speech in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

A top Congressional Republican was quick to react to the report.

"Count me among the millions of Americans who welcome a jobs report that shows jobs gained rather than more jobs lost," said Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, the House Republican Whip. "But a look beneath the numbers should give this Administration – and every American – cause for concern. We have to begin to address the structural deficiencies in our economy. Temporary or government jobs are not optimal, and private sector job growth simply isn't keeping pace with a growing labor force."

"I welcome job growth any day, week or month of the year, but the figures released today need to be stamped with 'Buyer Beware'," says Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, in a statement.

"The underlying fact is that 9.7 percent unemployment is unacceptable by any standard. No amount of spin will resolve the fact that the President's policies have been a colossal failure when it comes to creating jobs. If his speech in Pennsylvania was any indication, President Obama has no intention of slowing his high-spending, big-government agenda that prevents the private sector from creating the jobs we need to put our economy back on track," adds Steele.

- CNN's Scott Spoerry contributed to this report

Filed under: GOP • Jobs • President Obama • unemployment
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. Thinker

    The republicans put us in this mess, and they have the gall to be critical asbout the recovery????The republicans should go away, and let the adults take over.

    June 4, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  2. Matt in Dallas

    Have a better idea GOP? Then let's hear it!

    The silence that is GOP ideas is deafening.

    June 4, 2010 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  3. Lets send Rush and Sarah the bill.

    The Corporate scumbags are sandbagging.Lets call the head of the republican party,Rush Limbaugh and see if his beach is covered in oil yet.

    June 4, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  4. thor

    This is a shameful jobs report.Obama is saying that he's pleased that there's job growth.Quit the spinning and start doing something to fix the economy.People need jobs and there aren't any around except temporary census workers or fast food chains.

    June 4, 2010 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  5. domincanmamaforuhbama

    I see the market is reacting well to these job numbers. Only dummy uhbumba could be happy about job creation in the private sector growing at the slowest pace for the year. I know uhbumba will blame Bush, but this is a direct reflection on the total incompetency of this joke of an administration.

    June 4, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  6. Rick in OP

    Your reporting on this story is total BS.
    The jobs report was a disaster, hence, the reaction in the stock market. The vast majority of the hiring was of Census workers whoe jobs will end in less than two months.

    June 4, 2010 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  7. Vivek Chaudhary

    Majority of these 390K jobs created jobs are temporary jobs created due to census. Real numbers are very bleak. My gut feeling is that the unemployment is around 10.5 or 11%.

    June 4, 2010 12:16 pm at 12:16 pm |
  8. Captain Awesome

    90% of these jobs are temporary government jobs. How is this good news? What happens when these workers go right back to the unemployment line? Don't toot your horn just yet, Mr. President.

    June 4, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  9. Hwy91

    "We have to begin to address the structural deficiencies in our economy."

    Really, Mr. Cantor? And just how would you propose that we do that? And at what point might we see a plan of any merit coming from the Grand Old Poobahs? Could you define these "structural deficiencies" of which you speak? What exactly are they, and why weren't these deficiencies addressed when YOUR party was in power? Oh, and one more question: Whenever the Democrats lay out a plan of any kind, why is it that the Poobahs can't wait to tear it apart, even before the details are released? Oh, wait – we know. It's all about the power, right? Who has it, who wants it, and how can them that wants it get it?

    Go back to sleep, Cantor. Maybe when you awaken, this will all have been a dream.

    June 4, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  10. Dean

    What 's new the party of NO disagrees with everything Obama says or does.

    June 4, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  11. Mary Kay Claus

    I'm curious what kind of spin the Republicans will put on the announcement that there has been a cure for cancer. "Ya, it's a cure, but beware that you will recover and feel healthy once again."

    June 4, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  12. Obama reads his propaganda and lies, debt gets out of hand, and only the Socialist and Union members seem to be smiling.

    I heard that well over a 100,000 of the 411,000 temporary Census jobs were as a result of double counting, workers that were trained then laid off they re-hired. It's just typical Chicago style dishonesty if you ask me.

    Americans deserve an honest transaparent administration, not a Chicago socialist machine replete with lies.

    June 4, 2010 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  13. Ron

    So the "great one" (Obama) has been in office for almost 18 months and the best he can do is 41,000 private sector jobs? Only those who do not look at this from a logical sense can even remotely call this a success. He has raised the national debt by almost 3 TRILLION dollars and the private sector is STILL not hiring? Pathetic – absolutely pathetic. Obama says "the economy is getting stronger by the day" but what he meant was "the GOVERNMENT is getting stronger by the day" when of the 431,000 jobs created 390,000 are government jobs. For the uninformed let me clarify for you: Government jobs are not PRODUCING anything thus have no impact on GDP. Only the PRIVATE sector can produce a product or a service for sale so when 3 TRILLION dollars of debt are added and the vast majority of jobs created are PUBLIC sector jobs get ready for an economic collapse that will take years to recover from. Obama is killing this country's economy and the uninformed sheep have no idea of the impact this will have on their future financial and societal futures.

    June 4, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  14. Randolph Carter, I'm no expert but...

    I'm afraid I've got some bad news for you, consumerbots. Those jobs aren't coming back. We've transitioned from an agricultural to an industrial to a service based economy and have almost finished transitioning to a transaction based economy where nothing of real value is produced. All of that "prosperity" during the Bush presidency was illusory. When it all came crashing down, all of the fake wealth disappeared. The ruling elite sent your manufacturing jobs overseas in an order to extract more profit through cheaper labor. Then they sent your service jobs overseas. Then, as your wages stagnated, they offered you cheap credit so that you could still buy the cheaply made junk they were selling. Now that that scheme fell apart, they are going to try to extract the last scraps of wealth from the carcass of the middle class by getting government bailouts paid for with "austerity measures" AKA cutting the social safety net and calling it reform. Isn't capitalism fun? But what do I know, I'm no expert. Have a nice day!

    June 4, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  15. Crazy Harry

    GOP disagrees with Obama? NO!!! Can't be!!! Tell me it isn't so!!

    Is this even news???

    June 4, 2010 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  16. David Cassidy

    It took Bush/Cheney and their Republican cronies 8 years to continually drive us deeper and deeper into this huge ditch, and now they have the nerve to criticize Democrats for not getting us out of the ditch within 1 year (while they say "no" to nearly every reasonable proposal). The hypocrisy is astounding! Let's hope that the electorate votes accordingly this November. We need another heavily Democratic Congress to continue the repair process for the next few years.

    June 4, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  17. Dean

    Census hiring was responsible for 411,000 of May's increase in employment. That' pretty much takes care of the 431,000 new jobs. Maybe Obama can continue what he calls another sign of economic recovery and have the government hire 411,000 new employees each month.
    OOOPPPPS – the government laid off 21,000 employees in other areas in May.
    Obama needs to stick with shooting hoop sand leave government to others.

    June 4, 2010 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  18. Mike NYC

    If the news was so great, why did the market drop 170+ points when it was released?
    Answer = because the majority were temporary Census worker jobs.
    With rumors that these numbers are inflated to due the practice of hiring and firing the same workers multiple times, the market fears what will happen when the census ends... Are we going to create temporary government jobs to help clean up the oil spill?

    June 4, 2010 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  19. njt25

    I love how there is no where mentioned in the first part of the article the number of census jobs that are not permant. These number are inflated and sad, figuring how much stimulus money we have spent...

    June 4, 2010 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  20. Sniffit

    Obama: Water is wet.

    GOP: No it's not.

    The End.

    June 4, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  21. wally

    One new job is better than 700,000+ lost jobs per month and I'll bet that all those temporary Census workers are thrilled to have work...remember the WPA and the CC during the Depression? The Republicans created this mess in 8 years with tax cuts for the rich, two unpaid wars, unpaid Medicare benefits, big military spending and deregulation of the financial markets that caused the greatest meltdown in our financial markets since the Depression and they have the nerve to expect Obama to fix the mess they left us in within 500 days of his taking office....such a bunch of hypocrites.

    June 4, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  22. Four and The Door

    Obama slammed his Republican opponents, arguing that the country "can't go back to the very same policies that failed us in the last decade."
    Okay. This is the same old emotion-based argument that got him $1 trillion for the Stimulus Bill. He got it and it didn't work. It sounds now like he is confused about what to do next. The first thing I guess is to accept the fact that you can't spend your way out of this unemployment problem. It may actually take some discipline and work.

    June 4, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  23. Mickey, NY

    Of course the GOP disagrees...when do they EVER agree?

    Republicans: Domestic Terrorists

    June 4, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  24. Dano

    The way I see it any new jobs created are good for the country, even if they are temporary. People with jobs are able to buy services and products which helps the private sector to grow and create jobs. I've always thought that "trickle up economics" was better than the alternative offered by the republicans. They seem to think that giving more tax breaks & cuts to people that don't need them is the answer to all questions. That and deregulation. Haven't we seen enough of how that works?

    June 4, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  25. Diane

    A drop in the unemployment rate and jobs added, sounds good to me.

    June 4, 2010 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
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