Obama Recovery Accelerates; “champagne corks in the West Wing”


    There’s no other way to put this, but to say that this morning’s jobs numbers were superb. Here’s Ezra Klein’s take:

    The strangest thing about January’s jobs report is that it’s pretty much all good. The headline numbers are great, of course: payrolls are up by 243,000 jobs. Unemployment is down to 8.3 percent. But the inside numbers are good, too.


    The bottom line is that this isn’t just a good jobs report. It’s a recovery jobs report. It’s showing the sort of numbers that win elections. As my colleague Neil Irwin tweeted, “That sound you hear is champagne corks in the West Wing.”

    Also see Nate Silver’s analysis, that President Obama’s “magic number” for reelection is 150,000 jobs per month. Even Republicans might be able to do the math on this one: 243,000 new jobs in January 2012 is higher than President Obama’s “magic number” of 150,000 new jobs per month. Enjoy the champagne, West Wing, you’ve earned it! 🙂

    P.S. Also, we need to keep in mind a couple important things. First, that this recession was inherited by Barack Obama from the Bush Administration when he took office in late January 2009. Since then, as I wrote a couple weeks ago, we are better off on almost every metric. After today’s superb jobs report, that’s even more the case. Second, that the recovery would be even stronger if it weren’t for Republicans preventing a larger economic recovery package in the first place, as well as more aid to states and localities, the wildly irresponsible brinksmanship on the debt ceiling, etc. If it weren’t for all that baloney, the economy would be cranking along even better than it already is, thanks to President Obama and the Democrats – but ZERO thanks to Republican’ts.

    P.P.S. As Paul Goldman points out, the rapidly improving economy is also great news for Tim Kaine.

    • Statement on the Employment Situation in January

      WASHINGTON, DC – Alan B. Krueger, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers, issued the following statement today on the employment situation in January. You can view the statement HERE.

      The Employment Situation in January

      Posted by Alan B. Krueger on February 03, 2012 at 9:31AM EST.

      Today’s employment report provides further evidence that the economy is continuing to heal from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we continue the economic policies that are helping us to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the recession that began at the end of 2007. Most importantly, we need to extend the payroll tax cut and continue to provide emergency unemployment benefits through the end of this year, and take the additional steps that President Obama proposed in his State of the Union address to create an economy built to last.

      The unemployment rate fell 0.2 percentage point to 8.3%, from a high of 10% in October 2009. The drop in unemployment over the month was entirely due to employment growth, as the labor force participation rate remained constant, once new population weights are taken into account. The unemployment rate has fallen by 0.8 percentage point in the last 12 months. Private sector payrolls increased by 257,000 jobs and overall payroll employment rose by 243,000 jobs in January. Despite adverse shocks that have created headwinds for economic growth, the economy has added private sector jobs for 23 straight months, for a total of 3.7 million payroll jobs over that period. In the last 12 months, 2.2 million private sector jobs were added on net. Nonetheless, we need faster growth to put more Americans back to work.

      Sectors with net job increases in December included professional and business services (+70,000), manufacturing (+50,000), leisure and hospitality (+44,000), health care and social assistance (+29,700), and construction (+21,000). Government lost 14,000 jobs.

      The monthly employment and unemployment numbers can be volatile, and employment estimates can be subject to substantial revision. Therefore, as the Administration always stresses, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report; nevertheless, the trend in job market indicators over recent months is an encouraging sign.