Americans’ views of the economy remained generally unchanged after the unimpressive May jobs report came out, with 53 percent saying the economy is getting better and 42 percent saying it’s getting worse, according to a Gallup tracking poll.
Forty percent of Americans have mixed views about the job numbers released in early June, and only 9 percent viewed them as positive. Republicans were most likely to view the jobs report as negative, with 57 percent doing so. 45 percent of independents also viewed the jobs report as negative.
Fifty-one percent of Americans who follow the news closely viewed the jobs report as negative.
June 1, the government reported 69,000 jobs had been created in May, raising the overall unemployment rate to 8.2 percent in May from 8.1 percent in April. The government also reported that the number of long-term unemployed, those unemployed more than 27 weeks, increased to 5.4 million in May, up from 5.1 million. The long-term unemployed make up 42.8 percent of unemployed individuals.
Monthly job growth has been sharply declining since March, fueling fears of another economic slowdown and criticisms of President Obama’s economic policies.
“It is now clear to everyone that President Obama’s policies have failed to achieve their goals and that the Obama economy is crushing America’s middle class,” wrote Romney in a statement. “The president’s re-election slogan may be ‘forward,’ but it seems like we’ve been moving backward.”
Obama defended his job record saying, “we’ve been able to create more than 4.3 million jobs since we started growing this economy together — over 800,000 in the last few months alone,” but said there is still more work to be done to fix the economy.
Economic forecasts have been revised downward for this year. JPMorgan Chase revised its growth down for for this year to 2.1 percent from 3 percent. Julia Coronado, an economist at BNP Paribas in New York, expects growth of 2.2 percent this year, down from her previous forecast of 2.4 percent.
“We keep hoping that we’re going to turn a corner and move into a stronger phase of recovery, and the door keeps getting slammed shut,” said Coronado.
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