Once the 2012 election goes down in history, chances are it will be remembered for one key deciding issue - jobs.
Since the depths of the so-called Great Recession in 2008-09, the recovery has remained stubbornly sluggish with the US economy unable to generate enough new jobs for Americans to feel confident about their futures. And the ripple has all but immobilized the middle class, with Americans afraid to make large purchases let alone start a small business.
On Friday, the latest round of employment data offered little hope that the situation would improve anytime soon. In August our nation created only 96,000 new jobs. Estimates were for 125,000. The unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent from 8.3 percent, but only because more people gave up looking for work.
And the already lackluster jobs data released earlier in the year for June and July were revised even lower.
“It’s a dreadful number and this has been a trend,” said Steve Moore of the WSJ Editorial Board on The Kudlow Report. “We’re seeing a downward trend.”
With the unemployment rate now above 8 percent for a record 43 consecutive months, CNBC’s Larry Kudlow believes the latest jobs data may be the catalyst that drives Mitt Romney ahead in the polls, and keeps him there until Election Day.
Kudlow and other Republicans argue that Americans will become unwilling to ‘renew the President’s contract’ as Bill Clinton implored earlier in the week in the face of such dire economic circumstances.
They say Romney’s background in business will resonate with the nation, eager wriggle free from the quagmire of this bad economy. "This president tried, but he didn't understand what it takes to make our economy work. I do," said Romney. Read More:Romney Bashes Obama on Jobs Report.
Meanwhile, President Obama hardly intends to roll over on this issue. He has countered that his administration created more than four million jobs and that he inherited, from Republican George W. Bush, the worst economy since the Great Depression.
"It's important to take a step back, take today's report into context with other information coming in, recent reports" Alan Krueger, chairman of Obama's Council of Economic Advisors, told CNBC. "We see a pattern that the economy is continuing to heal from the very deep recession that struck at the end of 2007 and really came to a boil in 2008."
Nonetheless, Larry Kudlow thinks jobs could be this President’s Achilles heel. “It looks like his goose is cooked on the economy.”