Just when you feel like you're going to throw up, some thug punches you in the gut. That's what today's jobs report from the Labor Department felt like. A mere 69,000 jobs created in the month of May – less than half of the already lackluster expectation – and the disappointing March and April jobs reports were revised downward by 49,000. Unsurprisingly, the unemployment rate increased to 8.2%. The number of long-term Americans (those jobless for 27 weeks or longer) rose from 5.1 to 5.4 million in May, representing 42.8% of the unemployed.
One thing that every single American shares in common is that we are all consumers, and consumers voiced no-confidence in Obamanomics a few days before the Labor Department's jobs report. The Consumer Confidence Index dropped to 64.9 for May, marking the third consecutive monthly decline, and still far below any hint of a return to a healthy economy.
As the following chart courtesy of Investor's Business Daily demonstrates, the American consumer has found little reason for increased optimism since the President arrogantly announced nearly three years ago that he had "rescued our economy from catastrophe" and the recovery had officially begun. By contrast, just six months into the Reagan-era recovery from the 1981-82 recession the Consumer Confidence Index returned to 90 – indicating a "healthy economy"- and climbed even higher thereafter. The Index hasn't been anywhere close to 90 since December 2007.
The May calculation of the Consumer Confidence Index is particularly disheartening as analysts had expected a slight uptick to 70 based on some recent relief in gas prices. However, continued concerns about declining home values, dismal job reports, stock market volatility, and growing concerns about the European economy contributed to another month of a declining Index.