Today's May jobs report from BLS brought a chorus of handwringing and, depending on your ideological persuasion, calls for various remedies for the United States' limping economy. Here's a small sample:
"The big question now: Does this report suggest the U.S economy is heading into recession, especially given the sharp slowdown in global economic activity from Europe to India to, perhaps most worrisome, China?"
-James Pethokoukis, The Enterprise Blog
"Manufacturers have increased employment over the past six months by 173,000 net workers, or 16.5% of all of the nonfarm payroll jobs added during that time. Since the end of 2009 manufacturing has added 487,000 workers.
"The sector remains a bright spot, with outsized contributions to both employment and output but we have to do much better in order to continue to drive economic growth. Manufacturers need policies from Washington which will enable them to invest, create jobs and remain competitive against global competition. Currently they are facing many difficult challenges and headwinds which are negatively impacting job growth."
-Chad Moutray, chief economist, National Association of Manufacturers
"May's employment report shows the economy continues to confront strong headwinds. The addition of a mere 65,000 jobs last month and a small uptick in the unemployment rate is alarming and unacceptable.
"Most frustrating is the fact that it is not the means for recovery that lack, but rather the will. For purely political and cynical reasons, Republicans in Congress have blocked President Obama's efforts to maintain momentum for growth, whether it's the American Jobs Act or routine highway infrastructure investments. Moreover, under the leadership of Mitt Romney, Paul Ryan and John Boehner, Republicans are also looking to cut back on policies that provide relief for the millions of working families worrying about how to pay the bills and how to make ends meet."
-Richard Trumka, president, AFL-CIO
"The May jobs figures are likely still being weighed down by seasonal issues, as evidenced by a drop in construction and in leisure and hospitality. Thus, these numbers should not yet be read as a sign of a slowdown. Even so, payroll employment growth is nowhere near strong enough to get us to full employment anytime soon."
-Heidi Shiefholz, economist, Economic Policy Institute
"The new recession-like jobs and GDP figures show what Americans get when massive U.S. trade deficits siphon overseas the benefits of spending-focused stimulus programs virtually no job creation or growth at home."
"Moreover, the employment report is much worse than appears at first glance for 46,000 of the 82,000 private sector jobs created came in sectors such as health care and social services, which are heavily subsidized by government spending."
- Alan Tonelson, research fellow, U.S. Business and Industry Council
"The jobs report for May is strong evidence that the U.S. economy can't entirely remain an island in a sea of troubles. Nonetheless, the fact that U.S. manufacturing has now had positive job growth in all but two months since January 2010 is a good sign for the capacity of the factory sector to provide at least some support for a stumbling U.S. economy, even if manufacturing cannot completely escape the growing risk of a global recession."
-Cliff Waldman, senior economist, Manufacturers Alliance for Productivity and Innovation (MAPI)