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September 27th, 2012
05:39 PM ET

Letters to the President #1347: 'Crossing the job creation threshold'

Reporter's Note: President Obama has been hounded throughout this campaign by the simple fact that he’s been unable to create as many jobs as we’ve lost during his term…that is, until today.

Dear Mr. President,

So lo and behold here come some new numbers out of the Labor Department saying in fact you have added jobs since taking office! Congratulations! I know that this has been a sore point for some time, and even though the numbers appear to be just barely tipping your way, my guess is that you’ll find that better than having them tilt against you.

As I understand it, this turn of events happened this way: Every time we get a jobs report it is based on preliminary numbers, and sometimes when the number crunchers look a little closer, it turns out that the final estimates are lower or higher than the originals. They believe some of the assessments earlier this year were low balls; that the economy, for example, added 50,000 more jobs in a month than previously thought. Something like that. Anyway, altogether it now appears that since you took office the economy has lost 4.3 million jobs, and gained 4.4.

I realize that is not a lot to celebrate. After all, in raw numbers, we’re talking about a net gain of 125,000 jobs, or a little less than one-third of Tulsa. So I don’t expect to see you whooping it up on the campaign trail over this new stat. On top of which, you can bet your presidential seal that some of your political foes are going to suggest that the Labor Department is fudging the numbers to help you.

Still, even considering all that, we’re all better off to be on the winning side of that equation rather than on the losing side.

Certainly we have a long way to go. Breaking even in terms of jobs lost/jobs gained over four years is hardly a sign of a robust economy. But if such numbers, modest as they may be, convince more voters that the economy is finally, actually heading in the right direction…well, that could signal the coming of a whole new political climate in D.C.

I trust all is good with you and the family. You and Mr. Romney are traveling so much; I hope you’re both getting as much rest as you can and washing your hands a lot. I’d hate to see one of you getting too rundown before the campaign is even over. Call if you can.

Regards,
Tom

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