OutFront tonight – the war over work.
The jobs numbers released today had both President Obama and Mitt Romney spinning different stories about what exactly they mean for the future of our economy and our country.
First, Obama said it was clearly a very good sign, referencing the fact that the unemployment level was at its lowest level since he took office in early 2009. It currently sits a 7.8%, below the magic 8% line that we've mentioned many times would make it much harder for Obama to win re-election – no president has been re-elected with unemployment over 8% since FDR in the 1930s.
So here's the question – can Obama win one like the Gipper? Unemployment was at 7.4% when Ronald Reagan was re-elected in 1984, but it was clearly trending downwards, and at a quicker pace than today. So is 7.8% still too high to help Obama's chances?
Cue Mitt Romney – his team is furiously pointing out that many people are still underemployed. Last month's household survey found that 582,000 of the new jobs created involved part-time workers who still want to find a full-time job. Romney also brought up the fact that there are many people who have simply given up and stopped looking for work, and thus are no longer counted in employment statistics.
So who is right? OutFront tonight are Ali Velshi, CNN's chief business correspondent, Ethan Pollack, the senior policy analyst at the Economic Policy Institute and a former staffer on President Obama's National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, and Daniel Mitchell, a senior fellow at The Cato Institute.