News / USA

Jobs are Crucial US Election Year Issue

The U.S. government's monthly jobs report said the economy added nearly 300,000 new jobs last month, the biggest monthly total in four years.  The economy in general and the jobless rate in particular will be factors in this year's midterm congressional elections, and politicians from both major political parties are keeping close watch on an assortment of key economic indicators.  

President Barack Obama says the Labor Department report documenting the additional jobs is very encouraging news.

But because more people have decided to look for work, the unemployment rate for April actually crept up from 9.7 to 9.9 percent.

Creating jobs is always a president's top domestic priority, and Mr. Obama vowed to continue working on his campaign promise to restore the jobs lost in the economic downturn.

"So, to those who are out there still looking, I give you my word that I am going to keep fighting every single day to create jobs and opportunities for people," said President Obama. "We are not going to rest until we put this difficult chapter behind us."

Republicans focused more on the slight increase in the jobless rate.  House Republican leader John Boehner said Americans and small businesses continue to ask, where are the jobs?

Republican Congressman Kevin Brady of Texas spoke at a congressional hearing shortly after the jobs report was released.

"A painfully slow recovery is better than no recovery," said Kevin Brady. "But for the 15.3 million Americans who are out of work and waiting for Washington Democrats to finally focus on jobs, this report is disheartening."

2010 is a congressional election year, and the national unemployment rate is always a factor anytime Americans go to the polls.

Ross Baker is a political scientist at Rutgers University in New Jersey:

"I think the economy more than anything else is going to determine what the result is going to be," said Ross Baker. "Over the years when you look at these elections, generally speaking if the economy is doing poorly, the president's party does poorly.  If the economy is doing well, the president's party generally does better, or at least loses fewer seats."

Historically, the party that controls the White House loses congressional seats in a new president's first midterm election.  And in years when the unemployment rate hovers near ten percent, those losses can be significant.  For example, high unemployment in 1982 cost Republicans 26 House seats during the first midterm election for then President Ronald Reagan.

Republicans expect to make gains in this year's election, largely because of concern over the economy and the enactment of Mr. Obama's controversial health care reform law.

But recent signs of an economic turnaround could help Democrats limit their losses in November, says Georgetown University expert Stephen Wayne.

"If that turnaround continues through the summer and into the fall, if unemployment drops, if the foreclosures of mortgages decrease, if housing prices increase, if inflation is held fairly constant then I think the Democrats will have a lot of momentum behind them and I think while the Republicans will pick up seats, they will not pick up enough to challenge Democrats in control of either house," said Stephen Wayne.

However, most experts still predict significant Republican gains in November, including perhaps the 40 seat gain they would need to retake control of the House of Representatives.  

You May Like

Photogallery Ukraine: Russian Forces Tightening Grip on East

And new United Nations report documents human rights abuses committed by both sides in conflict More

Locust Swarms Fill Antananarivo Skies

FAO-led control efforts halted plague More

South Africa’s Plan to Move Rhinos May Not Stop Poaching

Experts say international coordination needed to follow the money trail and bring down rhino horn kingpins 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.
Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?i
X
Henry Ridgwell
August 29, 2014 12:26 AM
U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Is West Doing Enough to Tackle Islamic State?

U.S. President Barack Obama has ruled out sending ground troops to Iraq to fight militants of the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS, despite officials in Washington describing the extremist group as the biggest threat the United States has faced in years. Henry Ridgwell reports from London on the growing uncertainty over whether the West’s response to ISIS will be enough to defeat the terrorist threat.
Video

Video Pachyderms Play Polo to Raise Money for Elephants

Polo, the ancient team competition typically played on horseback, is known as the “sport of kings.” However, the royal version for one annual event in Thailand swaps the horse for the kingdom’s national symbol - the elephant. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman in Samut Prakan reports that the King’s Cup Elephant Polo tournament is all for a good cause.
Video

Video Coalition to Fight Islamic State Could Reward Assad

The United States along with European and Mideast allies are considering a broader assault against Islamic State fighters who have spread from Syria into Iraq and risk further destabilizing an already troubled region. But as VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports, confronting those militants could end up helping the embattled Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
Video

Video Made in America Socks Get Toehold in Online Fashion Market

Three young entrepreneurs are hoping to revolutionize the high-end sock industry by introducing all-American creations of their own. And they’re doing most of it the old-fashioned way. VOA’s Julie Taboh recently caught up with them to learn what goes into making their one-of-a-kind socks.
Video

Video Americans, Ex-Pats Send Relief Supplies to West Africa

Health organizations from around the world are sending supplies and specialists to the West African countries that are dealing with the worst Ebola outbreak in history. On a smaller scale, ordinary Americans and African expatriates living in the United States are doing the same. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video America's Most Popular Artworks Displayed in Public Places

Public places in cities across America were turned into open-air art galleries in August. Pictures of the nation’s most popular artworks were displayed on billboards, bus shelters, subway platforms and more. The idea behind “Art Everywhere,” a collaborative campaign by five major museums is to allow more people to enjoy art and learn about the country’s culture and history. Faiza Elmasry has more.
Video

Video Chinese Doctors Use 3-D Spinal Implant

A Chinese boy suffering from a debilitating bone disease has become the first patient with a part of his spine created in a three-dimensional printer. Doctors say he will soon regain normal mobility. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Uneasy Calm Settles Over Israel, Gaza Strip

Israel and the Gaza Strip have been calm since a cease-fire set in Tuesday evening, ending seven weeks of hostilities. Hamas, which controls Gaza, declared victory. Israelis were more wart. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from Jerusalem.
Video

Video India’s Leprosy Battle Stymied by Continuing Stigma

Medical advancements in the treatment of leprosy have greatly diminished its impact around the world, largely eliminating the disease from most countries. India made great strides in combating leprosy, but still accounts for a majority of the world’s new cases each year, and the number of newly infected Indians is rising - more than 130,000 recorded last year. Doctors there say the problem has more to do with society than science. Shaikh Azizur Rahman reports from Kolkata.
Video

Video Scientists Unlock Mystery of Bird Flocks

How can flocks of birds, schools of fish or herds of antelope suddenly change direction -- all the individuals adjusting their movement in concert, at seemingly the same time? British researchers now have some insights into this behavior, which has puzzled scientists for a long time. VOA's George Putic has more.

AppleAndroid