The economy added 292,000 jobs in December—a record-breaking 70 consecutive months of private-sector job growth.— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) January 8, 2016
According to a new report released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the economy did incredibly well in December—there was a net increase of 292,000 jobs, higher than the average for the rest of the months in the year (which hovered around 200,000). The Bureau also underestimated job growth for the months of October and November and has stated that there were an additional 50,000 jobs created during these months it previously did not account for.
Unemployment remained steady at 5 percent, where it has been for the past three months (at its lowest rate in more than seven years), and average hourly earnings increased by 2.5 percent.
Overall, these figures suggest that the economy is doing quite well and in a healthy place, with job growth increasing and unemployment decreasing; even a few years ago, this would be a major cause for celebration.
Yet the economy seems to have slipped down on the list of peoples’ priorities. According to a December Gallup poll, while in 2009, 86 percent of Americans saw the economy as the nation’s biggest issue, this number has now decreased to only 21 percent.
83 percent of Americans now see our biggest problems as non-economic related—the highest of which is terrorism at 16 percent, followed by dissatisfaction with the government at 13 percent (guns come in next with seven percent).
While President Obama will certainly be proud of this economic growth and address it during next week’s State of the Union speech, it may not have any effect on American perception of his administration. It’s an interesting situation—although the economy was once the crux of the public’s frustration with Obama, now that he has demonstrated his policies do indeed work, it no longer feels so important to individuals who once criticized his economic ideas so strongly.
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