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Jobs report: Good news, bad news, but probably not good enough news

The quarterly jobs report came in today and it included some good news – 103,000 jobs were added in September – but mostly bad: unemployment remains at 9.1%. In addition, economists say that 150,000 new jobs need to be added each month, and that hasn’t happened for six months, reports CNN Money. And of those 103,000 new jobs, 45,000 comprised the return of striking Verizon workers. Still, that number is 60,000 better than Wall Street had expected and 103,000 more than were added in August.

Slow job growth remains a huge problem for Americans. Few new jobs mean a continued sluggish economy, and that’s President Obama’s biggest challenge as he faces reelection. No president since FDR has won reelection with an unemployment rate over 7.2%. The Congressional Budget Office predicts that the unemployment rate will drop to 8.5% by this time next year, but that’s unlikely to be enough.

Making matters worse, the economy could be teetering on the edge of a second recession, according to the Economic Cycle Research Institute.  In the second quarter of 2011, the economy did grow, but at the anemic rate of 1.3%. The European monetary crisis isn’t making matters any better, and if European banks collapse, economies across the globe could slide into recession.

Republicans aren’t eager to give Obama any advantage headed into the coming election, thus they are blocking the American jobs bill (this link provides a really nice summary of what’s in this bill) before it starts. Even though Obama held a lengthy press conference on the bill on Thursday, it appears DOA in the House and struggling in the Senate. That said, it’s possible lawmakers could pass parts of the bill.

(A note of explanation: this blog covers media moves, so news about jobs or the lack thereof seems relevant.)