Check out this chart, from The New York Times.
The black line is the one to especially make note of; it reflects the number of job losses over the last few months. The steep drop -- almost like a straight line down -- is telling, and frightening.
Is there any doubt why the Washington Post would report this morning:
"The nation is losing jobs so quickly that the government, racing to deal with the crisis, is having trouble keeping up."
And in reality the unemployment picture is worse, as reported by NBC's Chuck Todd (this excerpt from Mike Allen's Politico.com daily blog) --
"Add in discouraged job seekers and workers forced to part time and that 8.1 percent number rises to 14.8 percent. Another benchmark, 31.8 million Americans applied for food stamps last month, an all-time record."
It's stunning to think that the economic stimulus package proposed by the president (regardless of what you think of it) was designed with 3.5 million new jobs in mind. The latest projections suggest that figure is 4.4 million have lost their jobs since the beginning of the recession.
Yes, it is unfair to dump all this on the doorstep of the administration; the economic crisis began well before Barack Obama entered the White House. However, the uncertainty that's beginning to creep into MSM coverage of what he's done and whether it will work is something he and his team can neither deny nor ignore. The pressure on Obama to offer something beyond verbal reassurance is building, and his options are complicated further by the doubts about the stimulus bill.