House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) suggested Thursday that jobless figures are padded by temporary Census workers, and don't quell voters' concerns about unemployment.
Boehner, in a "pre-buttal" to jobless numbers for the month of April that will be released tomorrow, said that the expected gains in employment the report might convey is blurred by as many as 600,000 temporary positions created by the Census.
"We are expecting to see some gains, which is always a positive sign, but that will likely include thousands of taxpayer-funded temporary Census workers," Boehner said Thursday morning in his weekly press conference. "Make no mistake: a near 10-percent unemployment rate is completely unacceptable."
Those jobs do little to stop Americans from asking, "Where are the jobs?" Boehner said, referencing the constant mantra Republicans have used to criticize the Obama administration's performance.
Republicans also sought to cast the March unemployment numbers as padded by Census hires, which are temporary, government hires by the bureau in order to help collect data for the decennial survey.
Employment increased by 162,000 in March, though the unemployment rate held steady at 9.7 percent.
Republicans have also criticized President Barack Obama's stimulus as not having been effective enough to forestall rising unemployment, pointing to official estimates that predicted unemployment riding no higher than eight percent if the spending bill were enacted.
Update, 5:34 p.m.: A DNC spokeswoman responds:
John Boehner is like a kid on Christmas morning – eager with anticipation not that the jobs report released tomorrow will show increased progress toward economic recovery and reveal that more Americans have jobs but that the GOP might have an opportunity to cheer failure. It’s truly sad, and entirely revealing of who and what the GOP stands for, that their party’s leader would celebrate the prospect of fewer jobs so that they can score political points at the expense of Americans who simply want to get back to work.