Republicans are hyping a new government report on job growth—431,000 new jobs in May. Why would the GOP hype some apparently good news as we head into an election season they hope will be a referendum on the Democrats inability to jump start the economy?
Because the report also said 95 percent of those new jobs were temporary jobs with the U.S. Census. Politico reports:
The government said that 411,000 of the jobs created in May were temporary positions with the once-a-decade U.S. census and not the kind of employment that can drive a sustained economic recovery. That meant that the overall private sector employment growth for the month was anemic — up by just 41,000.
The number of “long-term unemployed” people — those who have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer — remained the same as the month before, at 6.8 million, the government said.
Friday’s number was worse, politically, than that reported in April, when the government said the economy gained 290,000 jobs, more of which were in the private sector. The unemployment rate that month was 9.9 percent.
The criticism of temporary jobs resonates off Dino Rossi's campaign rap. “They’re taking money from the wealth creating sector of society and putting it into government for temporary jobs," Rossi said on the trail last week.
The National Republican Senatorial Committee siezed on the news: “While Washingtonians suffer from 9.2 percent unemployment, Patty Murray is maxing out the government credit card and failing to provide real economic relief," NRSC spokeswoman Amber Marchand said in a press release. "Taxpayers are once again footing the bill—this time for hundreds of thousands of temporary government census jobs."
Washington State Democratic Party spokeswoman Anne Martens accused the GOP of misinterpreting the numbers and accused Rossi a missing the bigger issue.
"Only in National Republican-land is the creation of 41,000 private sector jobs bad news," she said. "Those 41,000 new private sector jobs are in stark contrast to the 750,000 jobs lost in January of 2009 because of the failed Bush economic policies, failed policies that Rossi endorsed."