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Igor Bobic

Igor Bobic is the assistant editor of Talking Points Memo, helping oversee the site's coverage of politics and policy in Washington. While originally from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Igor feels best at home on the beaches of Southern California. He can be reached at igor@talkingpointsmemo.com.

Articles by Igor

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement on a weaker-than-expected March jobs report, showing the economy added 120,000 jobs:

"Today's report is another sign that while the private sector is creating jobs, we have more work to do on behalf of our workers, our families, and our middle class.

 

“For weeks, House Republicans have squandered the opportunity to bring up a bipartisan transportation bill that creates or saves more than 2 million jobs and rebuilds our infrastructure.  Instead, they kicked the can down the road with another short-term quick fix, while pushing a transportation proposal that destroys more than half-a-million jobs and undermines highway investments in nearly every state.  At the same time, Republicans threatened the long-term economic security of all Americans by passing a budget that ends the Medicare guarantee, hands massive tax breaks to the wealthiest Americans and Big Oil, and destroys millions of jobs.

 

"It is long past due for Republicans to  join Democrats in working on behalf of the American people who want us to create jobs, address the challenge of skyrocketing gas prices, grow our small businesses, and strengthen an all-inclusive and thriving middle class.  Democrats are committed to reigniting the American dream, building ladders of opportunity for anyone willing to work hard, take responsibility, and play by the rules."

 

Alan B. Krueger, Chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, issued the following statement today on the employment situation in March, showing 120,000 jobs were added:

There is more work to be done, but today’s employment report provides further evidence that the economy is continuing to recover from the worst economic downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we continue to make smart investments that strengthen our economy and lay a foundation for long-term middle class job growth so we can continue to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began at the end of 2007.

 

Employer payrolls increased by 121,000 jobs in March, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ establishment survey. The unemployment rate ticked down to 8.2% in March, according to the household survey.  However, employment was virtually unchanged in the household survey. 

 

Both surveys indicate the continuing challenges facing construction workers, as a result of the collapse in homebuilding following the bursting of the housing bubble.  The unemployment rate for construction workers stands at 17.2%, more than double the national average.  Because of weak private sector demand for construction investment and the nation’s continuing need for improved infrastructure, including maintenance of existing highways, bridges, and ports, the President’s Budget proposal to increase and modernize the nation’s infrastructure is well targeted to support the economy today and in the future.

 

Despite adverse shocks that have created headwinds for economic growth, including weak construction investment, the economy has added private sector jobs for 25 straight months, for a total of 4.1 million jobs over that period. 

 

Manufacturing continues to be a bright spot and added 37,000 jobs in March.  After losing millions of good manufacturing jobs in the years before and during the recession, the economy has added 466,000 manufacturing jobs in the past 25 months—the strongest growth for any 25 month period since September 1995.  To continue the revival in manufacturing jobs and output, the President has proposed tax incentives for manufacturers, enhanced training for the workforce, and measures to create manufacturing hubs.

 

Other sectors with net job increases included leisure and hospitality (+39,000), professional and business services (+31,000), and financial activities (+15,000).  Retail trade lost 33,800 jobs, construction lost 7,000 jobs, and government lost 1,000 jobs.  State and local government job losses have moderated in recent months.  Almost three-quarters of the slower job growth in March relative to February was due to slower growth in temporary help services and health care and day care services.

 

As the Administration stresses every month, the monthly employment and unemployment figures can be volatile, and employment estimates can be subject to substantial revision. Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report, and it is helpful to consider each report in the context of other data that are becoming available. 

Speaker John Boehner issued the following statement in response to a weaker-than-expected March jobs report that showed the economy adding 120,000 jobs:

“Today’s report shows that families and small businesses are still struggling to get by because of President Obama’s failed economic policies.  Unemployment is far too high, paychecks are shrinking, gas prices are rising faster than ever, and our debt now exceeds the size of our entire economy.  Unfortunately, the president is refusing to get serious about addressing our fiscal and economic challenges.  His budget, which would raise taxes and put us further in debt to China, did not pick up a single vote in the House, and he continues to push higher taxes as the antidote to higher gas prices.

       “Hardworking taxpayers know there’s a better way, and it starts with building our economy around the people, not the government.  Republicans have a jobs plan – and a budget – that cuts spending, fixes our tax code, addresses excessive regulations, and expands American energy production through projects like the Keystone XL pipeline.  We invite the president and his fellow Democrats who run Washington to join us in acting on common ground that would help the private sector put people back to work. 

       “There’s no question Americans are working as hard as ever to create new jobs and opportunities despite all the obstacles government is throwing in their way.  Just think what could be achieved if Washington started being part of the solution instead of the problem and took steps to liberate the world’s greatest economy from the shackles of big government.”

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor released the following statement in response to a weaker-than-expected March jobs report, showing the economy added 120,000 jobs:

“The monthly jobless numbers are just a quick snapshot of the economy, so while it is welcome news that around one hundred thousand jobs were created last month, there’s more to the picture. The level of growth we are seeing isn’t enough to make a difference for the millions of Americans still out of work or families facing high gas prices and the uncertainty of a lagging economy.

“Job growth happens when small businessmen and women in this country have the ability to take risks, invest capital and start hiring new workers. We want to make sure they have every opportunity to do so. The JOBS Act is now law because Republicans and Democrats put our differences aside and joined together to deliver results for job creators in this country. We can do more.

“We need to continue working together on solutions to boost economic growth and get people back to work. In the coming weeks, the House will vote on the Small Business Tax Cut Act to give 22 million hard-working small business owners a 20 percent tax cut that will help them retain and hire new employees. Members on both sides of the aisle are eager to empower small business owners and I hope we can unite around this measure to spur small business growth and job creation.”

Facebook has picked the Nasdaq stock exchange for its initial public offering, reports the New York Times:

The social network will list its shares on the Nasdaq under ticker symbol “FB,” according to people familiar with the matter, who demanded anonymity because the discussions were private.

Per the White House Press Secretary Jay Carney, President Obama believes that women should be admitted to the all-male Augusta National Golf Club.

"His personal opinion is women should be admitted to the club," Carney said at the White House on Thursday.

In a press release, South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian appeared to compare Gov. Nikki Haley to the Kardashians and Snooki:

South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley has spent more time in the last month outside the state traveling with Mitt Romney and appearing on national television programs promoting herself than she has on promoting jobs for South Carolinians or meeting with the Republican legislature to pass meaningful tax reform.

 

Only 18 months in office and she has already written her biography. It used be that only people who accomplished something significant had biographies written, but in the age of Snooki and Kardashian celebrities it should be no surprise Nikki Haley draws some national curiosity.

 

NBC's David Gregory, host of Meet the Press, stopped by Jay Leno last night and commented on Mitt Romney's religion, Mormonism:

Let's be honest, it is the core of who Mitt Romney is. He was a missionary in France for two years. He has been a bishop in the church, which, in the Mormon church, is effectively like a priest. Philanthropically, he's made huge contributions. He's had a big impact on the church. And yet he doesn't talk about it. It's the core of who he is, and yet he doesn't feel like it's safe to talk about.

 

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