The economy added a solid 175,000 jobs last month, according to new government data released this morning, but the gains were not enough to make a dent in the nation’s unemployment rate.
The Labor Department reported that the jobless rate was essentially unchanged at 7.6 percent, where it has hovered for the past three months, though there were some bright spots in the details: The size of the labor force increased slightly, and there was a dip in the ranks of workers so discouraged by their job prospects that they have given up seeking employment.
The good jobs report may not make things better for the White House in this time of trouble, but a bad jobs report would certainly have made the situation considerably worse. But we can look at the list of the recent controversies as indeed an indication that the economy is doing better. The IRS picking on the Tea Party, the reanimation of the phantom of Benghazi, the revelation that the massive surveillance apparatus Bush erected during his terms has not been dismantled—these top issues of the day have nothing at all to do with what Americans have been taught to always be worried about: money. If money is not the top story then the economy is really improving.