Politics & Policy

Jobs, Chapter II

1.2 million served and hiring.

The month of May saw the creation of 248,000 new jobs in the U.S. — but that’s only half the good news. March and April payroll figures were revised upwards as well. With all the big jobs numbers and frequent revisions upwards and rare revisions downwards these days, it may seem a little tough to keep track of employment. No worries. BuzzCharts has you covered.

So far in 2004, according to the Labor Department’s payroll survey, America has created roughly 1.2 million net new jobs. Given that this is based on 5 months of jobs growth, if the pace continues, 2004 will show job creation at the astonishing rate of nearly 2.9 million.

BuzzCharts fully acknowledges that the Bush administration is down a net 1.164 million jobs according to the payroll survey — but that number is much more significant to the political class than to the financial class. BuzzCharts never asserted that somehow the economy would magically come out of its slump when George W. Bush took the oath of office in January 2001. Policy is what matters, not personality.

This is why we believe May 2003 (the month the president’s tax cut was implemented in full) is the most honest baseline against which to evaluate the president’s economic policies. Since then, the payroll survey shows a net gain of 1.35 million new jobs and the household survey a gain of 1.27 million new jobs.

And just in case Ross Perot has come down from the attic to read National Review Online, BuzzCharts has included data going back to the signing of NAFTA at the end of 1993. No, that giant sucking sound was never heard, unless of course you were listening to the forecasts of the protectionist economic hacks. Since NAFTA — according to the payroll survey — the country has added 18.75 million new jobs. According to the household survey we’ve grown by 16.81 million jobs.

BuzzCharts would like to spend a little more time today saying “I told you so,” but like the rest of the country we’re too busy hiring.

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