Jobs figures就业数据 A gentle tailwind进展顺利，但缓慢
Employment is moving, ever so slowly, in Barack Obama’s direction
ON APRIL 4th Barack Obama announced, to no one’s surprise, that he would seek a second term in 2012. The timing was auspicious. Three days earlier the job market, a key determinant of his re-election chances, took a turn for the better. On that day the government reported that non-farm payrolls rose a hefty 216,000, or 0.2%, in March, led by manufacturers, hotels, restaurants and temporary staffing agencies. Strapped state and local governments trimmed their payrolls for the fifth month in a row. But private payrolls, a better indicator of the economy’s animal spirits, have posted their biggest two-month advance since 2006, at 470,000.
4月4日，不出众人所料，奥巴马宣布他将争取在2012年连任总统。 当时的时机很有利。 三天之前，决定奥巴马连任的关键性因素-就业市场，开始走向好转。当天的政府报告称，三月份非农业就业人口大幅上升216,000，占总人数的0.2％，这一增长主要来自于制造业，酒店，餐饮业和临时职介所。经济拮据的州和地方政府过去连续五个月的一直削减人数。 但是，但是私营企业的就业人数，这个表示经济扩大投资的优良指标，达到了自2006年以来最大的两个月连续增长，为470,000人。
Meanwhile, the unemployment rate fell to 8.8% from 8.9%. It has now plummeted a full percentage point in four months, a feat unmatched since early 1984 and a fact Mr Obama made sure to point out. No doubt he hopes it augurs for him what it did for Ronald Reagan in 1984. Like Mr Obama, Mr Reagan endured a savage recession early in his first term that crushed his approval ratings and cost his party seats in the mid-terms. But by 1984 job creation was on a roll and Mr Reagan romped to re-election.
A closer look at the data, however, illustrates why the economy is less of a tailwind for Mr Obama than it was for the Gipper. Unemployment is falling far faster than the health of the economy can explain. In the four months during which unemployment dropped a percentage point in 1983-84, non-farm payrolls leapt by 1.6m. In the last four months they have advanced a mere 630,000. The survey of households that yields the unemployment tally shows a much bigger gain in employment than the survey of employer payrolls, but still less than in 1984.