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Obama Ignores Unemployment Rise to 9.1%, Job Gains of only 54,000

The very disappointing May jobs report took many in the media by surprise. The 54,000 jobs added were less than one-fourth the size of April's job gains, and reporters immediately reacted to the "less than expected" gains and complained about the "sluggish recovery."

 

President Obama however did not deliver a statement about the bad news that unemployment rose to 9.1 percent, on that day or over the weekend. One ABC journalist noticed Obama did not mention the jobs report on June 3.

 

"President Obama's comments today made no specific mention of the disappointing jobs report or the fact that the unemployment rate ticked upward," Jake Tapper wrote on his ABC blog "Political Punch."

 

Tapper reminded his readers that "when the jobs numbers are good, the president likes to acknowledge them, and tell people the number."

 

A search of the White House website showed that the president did not mention the jobs numbers on June 3, or over the weekend of June 4 and 5 in any of his speeches or remarks. There were no White House statements or releases about the disappointing May jobs numbers either.

 

The only administration officials to react to the jobs report were principal deputy press secretary Josh Earnest, during a press briefing on Air Force one, and top economic advisor Austan Goolsbee who appeared on ABC's "This Week with Christiane Amanpour" June 5.

 

During that ABC interview Goolsbee spun the data, citing "stiff headwinds" had impacted jobs and said, "Don't make too much of any one month's job report because they are highly variable."

 

It is worth remembering that the Obama administration pushed its $787 billion stimulus package in early 2009 with a forecast that unemployment would not go above 8 percent if the stimulus was enacted. That proved false as unemployment climbed higher and higher - peaking at 10.2 percent. Yet, the network news media have mostly ignored that failed jobs promise.