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June 25, 2004

Job Numbers

I was off debating some job numbers, and amazingly there are still liberals who will scream that Bush is 3 million jobs in the hole. I've refuted this claim so often and so repeatedly that I thought I should make it easy for everyone else, using numbers straight from the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Here's the current employement situation report for May 2004, which you can find from the Bureau of Labor Statistics Current Employment Statistics page.

From Table A. Major indicators of labor market activity, seasonally adjusted (Numbers in thousands), Household Data, Civilian labor force, Employment, we find 138,772, which is 138,772,000 jobs.

Now going to the Archived Releases to December 2000 we again go to Table A. Major indicators of labor market activity, seasonally adjusted (Numbers in thousands), Household Data, Civilian labor force, Employment to see 135,836, which is 135,836,000 jobs.

So instead of being down 3,000,0000 jobs, we have 138,772,000 - 135,836,000 which equals 2,886,000 jobs GAINED. There was a point where the jobs had dipped that low, and the press wouldn't shut up about it. Then it began rebounding and perky Katie Couric got quieter and quieter, and now you hear hardly a peep about job numbers. That's because the less they say the more likely it is someone will still assume we're down three million, which is only an error in perception of 5,886,000 jobs.

June 25, 2004 in Politics | Permalink

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Comments

Excellent post. Thanks.

Posted by: Mike at Jun 25, 2004 9:25:55 AM

But even supposedly conservative outlets like FoxNews are still reporting that Bush is behind or upside down in job creation. How are they coming to that conclusion? Are they looking at some different numbers from somewhere else George? I've seen what you document here before and I don't understand what's going on.

Posted by: Calliope at Jun 25, 2004 11:03:22 AM

Hi,

I just printed out the BLS Labor Force Statistics from the Current Population Survery (actually I printed out the numbers from 1980 to the present) and it shows 138,772 for May 2004 and 137,790 for January 2001. That's a gain of a million jobs.

But, more than that, a president does not have an affect on an economy the day he takes office. It takes time for him to get his people approved and in place, it takes time to get the legislation passed and it takes time for the legislation to start having an effect on the economy. It probably takes 12-24 months for a president to affect the economy fully as much as he is going to.

This suggests that we should judge a president from the first anniversary of his innaguration to the first anniversary of the day he left office. Since the effect of the dot com bubble was still in effect for the first year of Bush's term, the January 2002 number for employment was 135,715. In a little over two years we have had over three million more jobs.

The reason I ran the numbers back to 1980 is supporters of Bill Clinton keep saying he created 22 million jobs. That's more than Ronald Reagan.

I don't know where they get those numbers. Employment in January 2001 was 137,790. Employment in January 1993 was 119,075. That is a gain of 18.715 million -- not 22 million.

But more than that, if we judge Slick Willie from the year after innaguration to the year after he left office, the number for Jan 1994 was 121,966 and the number for Jan 2002 was 135,715. That's a gain of 13.749 million. The economy gain three million jobs (that Clinton takes credit for) in his first year in office when he could have had any effect on the economy and it lost two million jobs in the year after he left office when his successor couldn't have had a significant effect on the economy.

Based on a 12 month lag, Clinton was president during an 11% increase in employment over eight years -- about average for our country. In contrast, based on a 12 month lag, there was a 19% increase in employment when Reagan was president. If you ask what Reagan did to make the economy better, you can point to the tax cuts and deregulation. If you ask what Clinton did to deserve credit for job creation you poin to what?

Posted by: Bill at Jun 25, 2004 1:17:50 PM

Does it suprize me that Liberals can't add & subtract simple numbers (without their shoes off)? No, If they heard the distorted truth from Dan Blather then it must be right.
In the immortal words of Mr T - "I Pity the Fools!!"

Mr Minority

Posted by: Mr Minority at Jun 25, 2004 2:39:26 PM

NPR had a professor from the University of Chicago (not Dan Drezner, obviously), spinning the employment numbers by claiming that the gained jobs were all low-paying and upper-rung work, with nothing in the middle. He used as an example of high-end work financials, high-end service jobs, and construction. How, I ask you, did construction become an upper-class line of work?

Whenever a Republican, or even a New Democrat, starts racking up job gains, there's always some old left blowhard on hand to whine about the "quality" of the new jobs. Used to be Robert Reich, but nowadays, it's some guy who sounds just like him. Not much of an improvement.

Posted by: Mitch H. at Jun 25, 2004 4:32:28 PM

Calliope,

Go to the FoxNews website sometime, and look at the stories they run. At least half of them are straight off the AP newswire. Need I say more?

Posted by: SDN at Jun 27, 2004 5:10:29 PM

That damned liberal Fox News! Why do they keep saying millions of jobs were lost?

They aren't fair or balanced at all!

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