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The Facts Show Increase of Jobs Under Bush

Wednesday, 25 February 2004 12:00 AM

One little problem: It's not true.

Not only has there been no net loss of jobs during the Bush administration, there has been a net gain, even with the devastation of 9/11. At least 2.4 million jobs have been created since the president took office, 2 million of those in 2003. The gains more than offset the losses.

While Democrats continue to beat their election-year drums about outsourcing, manufacturing losses, unemployment and slow growth in employment, America’s economy has been steadily creating jobs.

At least 366,000 jobs have been created in the last five months, over 100,000 of those in January, White House press secretary Scott McClellan has noted. And though the eight-month recession “officially” ended in November, economic indicators are surprising economists and pointing toward a take-off in the recovery.

The signs:

Now the doomsayers are criticizing the validity of the unemployment rate, which at 5.6 percent does not fit their gloomy story.

The problem is the areas of biggest job growth are usually not even being counted at all.

Though 75 percent of jobs are created by small companies, according to the Small Business Administration, this sector’s entrepreneurial activity and the jobs it creates are left out by Washington bean counters when calculating official new job numbers.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does its Payroll Survey by phoning businesses to crunch the number of jobs that have been gained or lost. This is where Democrats grabbed onto their lifeline, the 2.3 million figure. Look only at the Payroll Survey, and there has been a gain of only 522,000 jobs since Bush took office.

But here’s the rub. The Household Survey is used to determine the unemployment rate and accounts for those who are self-employed, and small emerging businesses that might be overlooked by the Payroll Survey. But the number of U.S. firms isn’t static, and the "fixed list" used by the BLS for phoning established businesses does not reflect new entrepreneurial activity.

People are called at home and asked if they have jobs, or if they are in the market for a job. In contrast to the Payroll Survey, the Household Survey shows that 2.4 million jobs have been created so far during Bush's time in office.

As Economy.com writer Haseeb Ahmed recently wrote, "something is amiss in the [Payroll] survey."

That’s not all. When doomsayers, and media spoiling for a fight in an election year, laughed at Bush’s prediction of 2.6 million new jobs this year, not everyone was scoffing.

Ahmed, Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan and others hardly batted an eye. Greenspan said it was "probably feasible" the economy would reach the Bush administration's forecast of adding 2.6 million jobs this year, provided growth continues and the productivity rate slows to more typically levels.

"I don't think it's 'Fantasyland,'" Greenspan said.

"I agree with him," said John Ryding, chief market economist at Bear Stearns. "I think that we will create 2.5 million, possibly more, jobs over the balance of the year."

Ahmed is convinced that "the revision patterns of the early-1990s recovery cycle" will be repeated. A total of 1.4 million job gains were revised upward to 2.9 million in the first 21 months after the end of the last recession, just after Bush Sr. was voted out of office.

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One little problem: It's not true. Not only has there been no net loss of jobs during the Bush administration, there has been a net gain, even with the devastation of 9/11. At least 2.4 million jobs have been created since the president took office, 2 million of those in...
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2004-00-25
Wednesday, 25 February 2004 12:00 AM
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