In response to weak job numbers report last week:

There is a tendency to take whatever just happened and assume it forward. That’s doubly true when the data is dramatic. … Remember, it was just a few months ago that we were celebrating what seemed to be a nascent recovery. We added more than 200,000 jobs in December, January, and February. And the commentary began to assume that this would continue. Economists began explaining why the economy was coming back. Pundits began gaming out how Mitt Romney would have to rethink his campaign strategy now that the economy was piling on jobs. (And, to show I don’t just make this point when recoveries falter, here’s a post from February in which I warned against making those arguments.)

Today, we’re hearing the exact reverse set of extrapolations. Economists are explaining why the recovery is clearly faltering. Pundits are wondering how President Obama will run for reelection if the economy isn’t adding jobs. Romney, in fact, is previewing a new slogan: “Putting Jobs First.”

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