GOP Leadership Spends Few Words On December Jobs Numbers

January 06, 2012 10:03 am ET — Kate Conway

Today the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its report on December's jobs numbers, showing that the economy added 200,000 jobs last month for a total of 1.9 million additional jobs over 2011. The unemployment rate continued to fall to 8.5 percent — the lowest it's been since February of 2009.

The positive numbers continue a trend that took root when the Recovery Act was passed, helping spur the steady addition of jobs in the private sector over the last 22 months. Private-sector growth has been marred only by falling employment in the public sector, which shed 280,000 jobs over the last year. Political Correction has prepared the following chart showing the employment trends since July 2009 (click to enlarge):

Political Correction Employment Chart

Despite the good news (particularly for Republicans hostile to government as an employer), the most partisan Republicans are still trying to capitalize on an economy struggling to recover from recession. Fourteen minutes after the BLS released its jobs report, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) put out a statement noting the "welcome news" but quickly pivoting to complaints about "the lack of long-term job creation." Ultimately, Cantor dismissed the gains as a 'campaign-year political win' and demanded that Congress not let good employment news somehow distract them from "doing the right thing."

What's the right thing? Passing the House GOP's anti-regulatory agenda, of course. House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) piled on in a similar statement, spending few words on the employment news and requesting that the Senate pass a variety of the House GOP's bills in order to, ostensibly, "help create an environment where robust private-sector job growth is once again the norm."