Obama: “Not Concerned About a Double-Dip Recession”

June 8, 2011  |  

By Alexis Garrett Stodghill

President Obama met with reporters yesterday to reassure us that we are not heading for what he termed a “double-dip” recession. The President sought to express his confidence that despite recent declines in jobs creation, the economic uptick his administration has established will continue to produce growth. This news comes after last week’s jobs report revealed that employers only added 54,000 positions to the employment market, churning up pessimism on both Wall Street and Main Street.

Trading was down in reaction to this sign; plus, according to CBS News, six in ten Americans still believe we’re gripped in a recession, despite reports that it is officially over. CBS has more on the President’s positive outlook:

President Obama said today he’s concerned about last month’s slow job growth, but he’s not concerned about the economy sinking into another technical recession.

“I’m not concerned about a double-dip recession,” Mr. Obama said at a joint press conference at the White House with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. “I am concerned the recovery we’re on is not producing jobs as quickly as I’d like.”

Last week’s jobs report from the Labor Department showed that the unemployment rate rose to 9.1 percent in May. Employers hired only 54,000 new workers last month, the fewest in eight months.

“We don’t yet know whether this is a one-month episode or a longer” problem, the president said. Consumers are currently experiencing “headwinds” like high gas prices, he said, to which his administration has responded with steps to try and stabilize the international oil market.

Mr. Obama pointed out today that prior to this latest disappointing report, the U.S. economy experienced three months of robust growth. He pointed to additional signs of economic recovery, such as the rebound of the domestic manufacturing sector.

But, he said, “We’ve still got some enormous work to do.”

This work will include investing in education and energy, with a strong focus on fiscal policy including reducing the deficit.

What President Obama did not address is the growing crisis in the African-American community, which looms like a shadow outside his sunny focus on growth. While unemployment rose to 9.1% overall, African-American males experienced a staggering increase to 18.6% for the month of May, according to a UC Berkley report. The unemployment rate for blacks at large is now 16.2%, almost twice the national level. Blacks, in particular black men, are suffering through what many economists would call a depression, yet the first black president has yet to consider this issue worthy of consistent commentary.

As President Obama continues to sell us on the end of the recession, will he face the Great African-American Depression that millions grapple with? To be fair, President Obama has stressed his belief that “a rising tide lifts all boats.” Even at the current alarming rates, black unemployment is actually down. The key issue is that it continues to rise despite this for black men.

The president is avoiding a crisis that must be addressed. African-Americans are waiting. If and when Obama responds, we will remember how our cries for intervention met his walls of silence — for too long.


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