it's the stupid economy

President Obama Is Finally a Net Job Creator

US President Barack Obama speaks during a campaign rally at the Kent State University on September 26, 2012 in Kent, Ohio. Obama and Romney clashed on trade with China, the giant Asian economy, at dueling political events in Ohio, a key midwestern swing state which has seen thousands of blue collar jobs migrate to low cost economies abroad, including China.
122,000 jobs. Photo: Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images

Earlier this month, Romney spokesperson Andrea Saul claimed that President Obama “hasn’t created one single net new job.” This was absolutely true if you blame Obama for the cratering economy he inherited and the millions of jobs lost in his first few months in office, which even Mitt Romney has accidentally acknowledged is not really fair. But even using that most unforgiving baseline, Obama now appears, finally, to be a net job creator. As Reuters reports:

The U.S. economy likely created 386,000 more jobs in the 12 months through March than previously estimated, the Labor Department said on Thursday in a preliminary estimate of its annual “benchmark” revision to closely watched payrolls data.

This revision, if it’s anywhere near accurate, would push Obama into positive jobs territory. On August 3, CNN Money reported that Obama needed 316,000 jobs to break even. The economy then gained 96,000 jobs in August, but downward revisions to June and July meant that Obama’s magic number had only decreased by 52,000 to 264,000.

But Labor’s benchmark revision of 386,000 previously unaccounted for jobs easily puts Obama into positive territory, with a net total of 122,000 jobs created, no matter how you’re counting. Obviously, that isn’t a hell of an impressive-sounding number, and we doubt Team Obama is going to trumpet the fact that, over the course of his presidency, the economy has added an average of 2,800 jobs per month. Obama has always preferred to look at how many millions of jobs have been created since the economy hit bottom, and we expect him to continue using that frame. Really, the benchmark revision merely kills off one GOP talking point and serves as a symbolic milestone in our ongoing, endless recovery.