News / USA

Jobless Rate Drop Could Boost Obama

President Barack Obama speaks about jobs and the economy during a tour of an energy-efficient office building renovation near the White House in Washington, December 2, 2011.
President Barack Obama speaks about jobs and the economy during a tour of an energy-efficient office building renovation near the White House in Washington, December 2, 2011.

Friday’s announcement of a drop in the U.S. unemployment rate from nine percent to 8.6 percent is seen by experts as a boost to President Barack Obama’s re-election prospects next year, especially if it becomes a trend.

Jobless Rate Drop Could Boost Obama
Jobless Rate Drop Could Boost Obama

The drop in the jobless rate is the best economic and political news for the White House in months, and President Obama was quick to note the progress during a speech in Washington.

“As president, my most pressing challenge is doing everything I can every single day to get this economy growing faster and create more jobs,” he said.

Economists say the new figures are a good sign but they also note that the jobless rate is down in part because a lot of Americans have stopped looking for work.

Republicans, including House Speaker John Boehner, were cautious.

“Any job creation is welcome news," Boehner said. "But the jobless rate in our country is still unacceptably high.”

Political experts say the economy and jobless rate will be key issues in next year’s presidential election. Voters will hold President Obama accountable if the economy remains weak, said analyst Stuart Rothenberg.

“He either needs to change the economy and the jobs situation and the overall mood of the country, which is very difficult to do, or he is going to need to change the election so that it is not about jobs but is about 'Do you trust the Republicans?  Are the Republicans too scary?'  Then he has a chance for re-election,” Rothenberg said.

The Republicans hoping to win their party’s nomination and run against Mr. Obama next year have largely focused their campaigns on the president’s economic record, including former U.S. House speaker Newt Gingrich.

“If Obama is re-elected and he comes to believe that his radicalism was vindicated despite the economy, despite the deficit, despite everything, I can’t imagine what his second term would be like."

At the moment, Gingrich and former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney are at the top of public opinion polls measuring support for the eight Republican presidential contenders. Romney continues to emphasize his experience in the private sector.

“I want to go to work to help American businesses again succeed, thrive, add employees," Romney has said during his campaign. "I don’t hate business. I like business!”

A steady trend of improvement in the jobless figures would greatly help the president’s chances of re-election, according to Democratic political strategist Steve McMahon.

“What matters most in a presidential campaign at the end when it comes to the economy is 'do people feel like things are getting better and on a path to getting better, or do they think things are the same or getting worse?'”

Jobless Rate Drop Could Boost Obama
Jobless Rate Drop Could Boost Obama
McMahon and other Democrats hope Mr. Obama can follow the example of former president Ronald Reagan.

Mr. Reagan won a sweeping re-election victory in 1984 even with the unemployment rate at 7.2 percent, largely because voters believed the country was headed in the right direction.

On the other hand, a jobless rate of more than seven percent can be politically lethal. Incumbent presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter and George H.W. Bush all lost their election bids when the unemployment rate was 7.4 percent or higher.

You May Like

Photogallery Pistorius Sentenced, Taken to Prison

Pistorius, convicted of culpable homicide in shooting death of girlfriend Reeva Steenkamp, will likely serve about 10 months of five-year sentence, before completing it under house arrest More

UN to Aid Central Africa in Polio Vaccinations

Synchronized vaccinations will be conducted after Cameroon reports a fifth case of the wild polio virus in its territory More

WHO: Ebola Vaccine Could Be in Use by January

Assistant director says that clinical trials of Ebola vaccines are underway or planned in Europe, United States, Africa More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rulesi
X
October 21, 2014 12:20 AM
European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.
Video

Video Young Nairobi Tech Innovator on 'Track' in Security Business

A 24-year-old technology innovator in Nairobi has invented a tracking device that monitors and secures cars. He has also come up with what he claims is the most robust audio-visual surveillance system yet. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from the Kenyan capital, his innovations are offering alternative security solutions.
Video

Video Latinas Converting to Islam for Identity, Structure

Latinos are one of the fastest growing groups in the Muslim religion. According to the Pew Research Center, about 6 percent of American Muslims are Latino. And a little more than half of new converts are female. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti travelled to Miami, Florida -- where two out of every three residents is Hispanic -- to learn more.
Video

Video Exclusive: American Joins Kurds' Anti-IS Fight

The United States and other Western nations have expressed alarm about their citizens joining Islamic State forces in Syria and Iraq. In a rare counterpoint to the phenomenon, an American has taken up arms with the militants' Syrian Kurdish opponents. Elizabeth Arrott has more in this exclusive profile by VOA Kurdish reporter Zana Omer in Ras al Ayn, Syria.
Video

Video South Korea Confronts Violence Within Military Ranks

Every able-bodied South Korean male between 18 and 35 must serve for 21 to 36 months in the country’s armed forces, depending upon the specific branch. For many, service is a rite of passage to manhood. But there are growing concerns that bullying and violence come along with the tradition. Reporter Jason Strother has more from Seoul.
Video

Video North Carolina Emerges as Key Election Battleground

U.S. congressional midterm elections will be held on November 4th and most political analysts give Republicans an excellent chance to win a majority in the U.S. Senate, which Democrats now control. So what are the issues driving voters in this congressional election year? VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone traveled to North Carolina, one of the most politically competitive states in the country, to find out.
Video

Video Comanche People Maintain Pride in Their Heritage

The Comanche (Indian nation) once were called the “Lords of the Plains,” with an empire that included half the land area of current day Texas, large parts of Oklahoma, New Mexico, Kansas and Colorado.The fierceness and battle prowess of these warriors on horseback delayed the settlement of most of West Texas for four decades. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Lawton, Oklahoma, that while their warrior days are over, the 15,000 members of the Comanche Nation remain a proud people.
Video

Video Turkey Campus Attacks Raise Islamic Radicalization Fears

Concerns are growing in Turkey of Islamic radicalization at some universities, after clashes between supporters of the jihadist group Islamic State (IS) or ISIS, and those opposed to the extremists. Pro-jihadist literature is on sale openly on the streets of Istanbul. Critics accuse the government of turning a blind eye to radicalism at home, while Kurds accuse the president of supporting IS - a charge strongly denied. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

All About America

AppleAndroid