Washington, D.C. -
The US Labor Department reported today that the unemployment rate has fallen again as the economy continues to recover and grow, and 115,000 jobs were added last month, lower than had been expected.
The overall number of people unemployed dropped to 12.5 million, while the long-term unemployed, those out of work longer than 27 weeks, remained close to even at 5.1 million reflecting that many that gave up looking for work still have not started to try to rejoin the work force.
Meanwhile, as election year political rhetoric continues to heat up, Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney called Friday’s report “terrible and very disappointing,” and suggested job growth should be close to 500,000 jobs a month, something seen by many economist as unrealistic.
Still, Obama faces a daunting task as he tries to focus on the unemployment problem, since no president has ever won a general election with unemployment above 7.6%.
Employee productivity is down for the month of February and March indicating the work force has reached its maximum output capable and that hiring is needed.
Indeed, a survey of both small business and large companies showed that nearly 73% intend to hire "some" or 'significantly" over the summer.
Obama has also announced he intend to raise the number of summer time jobs that students normally fill with increased funding for various programs supporting the annual summertime student ritual.