Mitt Romney has a new economic goal, one that ostensibly backtracks from the benchmark he set for himself earlier this month. The presumed GOP presidential nominee told Time magazine’s Mark Halperin on Wednesday that he would get the unemployment rate down to 6 percent in his first term.
Just a few weeks ago, Romney said he would not be satisfied with an unemployment figure of anything less than 4 percent.
Speaking at a warehouse in O’Hara Township, Pa., [on May 4], Romney said there is no reason to be pleased with the morning’s April jobs report.
“Just this morning there was some news that came across the wire that said that the unemployment rate has dropped to 8.1 percent,” he said. “And normally that would be cause for celebration. But in fact anything over 8 percent, anything near 8 percent, anything over 4 percent is not cause for celebration.”
There’s also another fact that makes Romney’s prediction less than impressive: The unemployment rate is already projected to fall below 6 percent by 2016, near the end of what would be Romney’s first term if he is elected.
In other words, by what is essentially Romney’s own admission, his presidency would have little impact on job growth. —TEB
Though 6 percent unemployment is significantly lower than the current 8.1 percent rate, the feat isn’t all that remarkable. In fact, it is exactly where multiple government agencies project unemployment will be at the end of that time frame. The Congressional Budget Office predicts that unemployment will average 6.3 percent in 2016; the Office of Management and Budget, meanwhile, projects unemployment will hit 6.1 percent and ultimately fall below 6 percent the same year.