Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s depiction of New York City’s economy was a tad too rosy, Bill de Blasio said, even as the mayor was predicting a gloomy future unless his replacement follows his lead.
Shortly after Mr. Bloomberg delivered a speech this morning warning that New York City was at risk of facing the same economic fate as Detroit, Mr. de Blasio, the city’s public advocate and a leading mayoral candidate, released a statement praising the mayor for diversifying the city’s economy while also bashing him for letting income inequality soar.
Manhattanite Jason Furman earned Senate confirmation on Thursday, becoming the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.
Earlier today, there was a rare bit of good economic news with the announcement that job creation broke out in February as the United States’ unemployment rate fell from 7.9 percent to 7.7 percent. This morning, however, Mr. Bloomberg urged the public to ignore the widely discussed unemployment number and instead look at the raw job total nationwide–a net increase of 246,000 new jobs last month.
“The unemployment number is relatively meaningless,” Mr. Bloomberg said during his weekly interview with John Gambling. “It is the number of people who have jobs–the number of jobs. I think the national economy is doing a little bit better. Not going down, it is going up a little bit better, [but] nowhere near fast enough to give jobs to a lot of the people who want them. And a lot of the people who have dropped out of the workforce [are] saying, ‘I’m never getting a job, I’m not going to even look.’ Then you don’t get counted. … That’s why the unemployment number is bad–is not really a good indicator.”
In his State of the Union address this evening, President Barack Obama addressed several hot-button political issues including climate change, immigration reform and gun control. Overall, the president’s speech struck a populist tone, but when bringing up his proposals to address some of these more controversial issues, he characterized them as making good business sense.
New York State Comptroller Tom DiNapoli estimates the damage from Hurricane Sandy could cost the state at least $18 million. Mr. DiNapoli announced his estimate in a statement this afternoon.
“My office’s preliminary estimate of economic losses due to the storm ranges from $15 billion to $18 billion. Our daily infrastructure of highways, power, sewer and water–the elements of modern life that we take for granted–have all been altered by this storm,” Mr. DiNapoli said. “Though the rebuilding effort may offset some of these losses, we must continue to monitor what the long-term economic impact to New York will be.”
Tonight’s presidential debate was ostensibly about foreign policy, but on stage in Boca Raton, the candidates spent quite a bit of time discussing the American economy. The discussion first turned homeward when moderator Bob Schieffer asked Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama, “What is America’s role in the world?”
This morning, Mitt Romney’s campaign policy director Lanhee Chen, his deputy communications director for media affairs Kristy Campbell held a conference call with the press to “discuss the latest in a series of devastating economic news and President Obama’s record of failing to put America back on a path to prosperity.”
However, all three of the questions from reporters on the call were about what Mr. Romney’s position is on President Barack Obama’s newly announced immigration policy. Despite the clear connections between immigration policy and the job market, the Romney campaign staffers repeatedly dismissed the questions as “off topic” before ending the call entirely.
At a fundraiser in Maryland today, President Barack Obama criticized the core message of Mitt Romney’s campaign as simplistic.
“Because folks are still hurting right now, the other side feels that its enough for them to just sit back and say, ‘Things aren’t as good as they should be and it’s Obama’s fault,’” the president said. “You can pretty much put their campaign on, on a tweet and have some characters to spare.”
Mitt Romney appeared in friendly TV territory, Fox & Friends, this morning where he addressed recent statements made by President Barack Obama that the private sector is “doing fine,” why he thinks “Obamacare” is one of the “worst offenders” when it comes to killing jobs and what he thinks of the Obama campaign’s attacks on his work with Bain Capital.
“The president has the most anti-business, anti-investment, anti-jobs administration I think I’ve ever seen,” Mr. Romney said.
The Obama campaign released a new ad this morning calling Mitt Romney’s performance as governor of Massachusetts “one of the worst economic records in the country.” In the ad, which is called “We’ve Heard It All Before,” criticism that the state fell to 47th in job creation and fell into debt on Mr. Romney’s watch is interspersed with footage of Mr. Romney campaigning by touting his business record.
“Now, when Mitt Romney talks about what he’d do as president … remember, we’ve heard it all before,” a narrator says in the ad. “Romney economics, it didn’t work then and it won’t work now.”
Romney campaign spokeswoman Andrea Saul quickly issued a response calling the ad an attempt to shift the discussion after the weak May jobs report.