Remember when I made the comment that I didn't understand why politicians obsess over job creation? If not, it's all here (plus some great reader comments thrown in as an added bonus).
Well almost as if answering my question directly, Ezra Klein recently posted Bill Clinton's disapproval rating vs. unemployment:
Based on this chart I think you could make the conclusion that the old adage of "people vote with their pocketbook" should really be changed to "people vote with their W-2 forms". Or in other words, job creation matters.
Not surprisingly then comes the realization that most of the stimulus package will not be spent until 2010 or later*, which will surely have an impact on employment going into the mid-terms in 2010 and the Presidential election in 2012. Some may say that well that doesn't really sound like much of a stimulus plan then does it? And they'd be correct, but then we're back to square one about politicians and job creation.
For what it's worth, the view I'm hearing from M&A / Private Equity professionals is that with consumers continuing to unwind and the expectation of uncertain revenues into the foreseeable future, businesses will continue to focus on cost containment. The unfortunate side effect of this is that unemployment will likely remain high in the near term.