By Matt McDonald, (202) 822-1205,

The mixed jobs report today points to continued uncertainty in the economy and continued vulnerability on the issue for President Obama. While the increase of 244,000 new jobs in the establishment survey is more than we have seen in recent months, terrible numbers in the household survey, which is used to derive the unemployment rate, tempered this good news.

In the household survey, the number of jobs actually dropped by 190,000, driving the unemployment rate back up to nine percent, without any significant growth in labor force participation. This fell well short of the 189,000 jobs the President needed to be on track to reach eight percent unemployment by Election Day. Today’s report indicates that the economy will continue to be a significant challenge for President Obama as he seeks reelection.

Matt McDonald is a partner at Hamilton Place Strategies and a veteran of two Presidential campaigns and the White House. Prior to joining HPS, Matt worked for McKinsey and Company. He holds an MBA from MIT’s Sloan School of Management and an undergraduate degree in economics from Dartmouth College.