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September 03, 2004

World Ends At Noon Tomorrow, Bush Failures To Blame

U.S. employers added 144,000 workers to payrolls in August, the most since May and the first acceleration in five months, suggesting the economy is emerging from a midyear lull. The unemployment rate fell to 5.4 percent.
The increase follows a revised gain of 73,000 in July that was more than twice the number estimated last month. Manufacturing employment rose 22,000 and the jobless rate declined from 5.5 percent in July.

Lest we be tempted into irrational exuberance by this news, the NY Times puts it all into perspective:

The nation added 144,000 jobs in August, about twice as many as in July but just barely enough to keep pace with increases in the adult population.

What does the adult population have to do with it? Apparently the Times has decided to throw out that traditional definition of unemployment: i.e.: people who are looking for jobs, but can't find them/people who are employed, and replace it with a new definition created for the Bush administration: adults in the general population/people who are employed.

Economists said that the employment report was far from strong and that the jobs recovery since the recession of 2001 remains weaker than that following any other recession in the past half-century.

Well gee whiz, for one thing, if this recession was milder, (which it was) then one might expect the recovery rate to be more gradual too. But that would be logic.

Even with the new estimate of job creation last month, the nation still has about one million fewer jobs now than it did when Mr. Bush took office in January 2001.

Hmm... let's see... what happened in 2001? It's on the tip of my tongue... Dang! I've forgotten. Well, at least the unemployment rate fell. Oh...I forgot...we've redefined unemployment so that the unemployment rate (currently lower than at almost any time during Clinton's first term, when neither the Times nor anyone else had any problem with it) is no longer relevant. Silly me.

"We're all sort of breathing a sigh of relief, but we're not out of the woods just yet," said Nariman Behravesh, chief economst at DRI/Global Insight. "This is just barely enough to keep the recovery going."

Mommy, what's an economst? You know the recession is bad when the Times is forced to hock its spell-checker....

As an indicator of economic strength, the latest report was significant primarily as the absence of bad news.

To the Times, no news is bad news.

- Cassandra

September 3, 2004 at 01:03 PM | Permalink


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Tracked on Sep 6, 2004 3:36:36 AM


mrs. rdr is an adult (the only one in the family) and she doesn't work (OW!) I mean she works (OW!) HARD! Only I don't pay her. Actually, she pays me and keeps the rest. But (I knew I had a point when I came in) if she's an adult who does not have a paying job outside of the home, and is nt looking for work outside the home (thankyouverymuch), is she factored into the adult population that keeps growing so fast that we can barely not find any jobs that they don't want for them?

Posted by: spd rdr at Sep 3, 2004 1:13:35 PM

While I sit here waiting for them to give me the rest of the day off, I had a thought ( now my brain hurts ) but you never hear about the unemployment statistics among hard working Americans. Could that be because there is no unemployment among hard working Americans?
Good workers and hard workers can always find a job.
Just a thought, to keep things in a more realistic perspective.

Posted by: joatmoaf at Sep 3, 2004 1:21:06 PM


That is just Ivory Tower theoretical talk. We all know that hard workers get the shaft from the Man, who barely adds enough jobs for all of the new adults out there.


An economst is a degree given by an unaccredited internet school run by George Soros. The curriculum includes (1) how to bad mouth economic figures without concern for definitions but (2) has never studied a supply and demand curve. These people are then offered to the NYT for interviews.

Posted by: KJ at Sep 3, 2004 1:36:26 PM

What about soft-working Americans or hard non-working Americans. Doesn't anybody care about them?

Posted by: Pile On® at Sep 3, 2004 1:48:02 PM

"What about soft-working Americans or hard non-working Americans. Doesn't anybody care about them?"

Do they vote?

Posted by: KJ at Sep 3, 2004 2:15:11 PM

That's what I like: a realist.

Posted by: Cassandra at Sep 3, 2004 2:19:40 PM

Oh shut up! I meant, do they vote, like, in theory?

Posted by: KJ at Sep 3, 2004 2:21:40 PM

Pile On: No. Only good, hard working Americans count.

KJ: I happen to like theoretical Ivory Tower talk. It gives the libs something to fume about.

I happen to know that The Man has a quota on Shafts and he has to meet that quota every day.
Now if we were to stop The Man from giving everybody The Shaft, causing him to lose his job, then wouldn`t we be contributing to the un-employment problem?

Posted by: Joatmoaf at Sep 3, 2004 2:21:58 PM

Oh, so now it is just good hard working Americans. To helk with the bad hard working Americans.

And what about the sales reps that work hard four days a week, go through the motions on friday morning and then screw off on the computer on friday afternoons. I suppose they don't matter either?

Posted by: Pile On® at Sep 3, 2004 2:25:56 PM

You know Shaft is a bad mo ("watch your mouth".

Posted by: Raider's 1970 Blackploitation at Sep 3, 2004 2:37:03 PM

There is a net increase of 150,000 people each month enter the job market when you take into account young people attaining working age and seniors retiring.

144,000 new jobs does not keep pace with population growth.

Posted by: curveball at Sep 3, 2004 2:47:43 PM


And yet, unemployment went down. Since words have little meaning to libs, I guess it isn't surprising that the bar constantly moves.

1. No WMDs in Iraq.
2. Actually, we have found serin and mustard gas shells sufficient to kill 500,000 people.
3. Yeah, but no STOCKPILES of WMD in Iraq.

Keep moving the bar - change the meaning of words. This economy is booming by any objective historical standard. But tell yourself it isn't.

In other news:

I suspect Shaft has to do his work for the man just like everyone else.

Posted by: KJ at Sep 3, 2004 2:55:28 PM

And economst is an economist without "i" who bravely believes in failed collectivist -- I'm sorry. Beg Pardon. Collectvst -- policies. All part of new education and your friendly socialists -- beg pardon -- public school teachers of America.

We really need to get with this new speak thing.

Posted by: Portia at Sep 3, 2004 3:11:11 PM

KJ you forgot about the 500 tons of yellowcake uranium that the US shipped back to the states from Iraq. And Saddam wasn't buying any yellowcake from Africa.

And Shaft says "right on"

Posted by: Purple Raider at Sep 3, 2004 3:12:11 PM

I'm unemployed until Tuesday!!!!!!
The "Brief From Hell" has just left the building and I did it WITH A HALF HOUR TO SPARE!!!
A new personal best thankyouverymuch.
Where's the BEER?

Posted by: spd rdr at Sep 3, 2004 4:31:36 PM

The beer is in the e-mail.

In two hours i will also be unemployed for 3 days.

The hickory smoked Lamb ribs will be ready Sunday,
when will you all be here?

Posted by: Purple Raider at Sep 3, 2004 4:42:19 PM

As to Shaft, just let me say: "Solid. I can dig it."

(Back to Politburo voice) Economst is great mining center of Worker's Paradise; like Magnitogorsk, Ukhadlavst, and the Tri-Cities Omsk, Tomsk, and Berdsk. Is shortage of vowels after Proletarian Revolution, so consonants used mostly.

Job creation is irrelevant to New Soviet Worker. Who cares what ultra-capitalist "The Man" says or does? Until all work is gloriously and equally redistributed to each potential ditchdigger in the Gulag, the proletariat is nothing more than slave labor to be exploited by capitalist oppressors!

Posted by: a former european at Sep 3, 2004 4:45:13 PM

Quoting KJ:
"What about soft-working Americans or hard non-working Americans. Doesn't anybody care about them?"

Do they vote?

Answer: They try to in Florida, but "The Man" stops them.

Is there no middle-ground? Hard, soft. What about the semi-hard workers? Is this thread deteriorating? Pile On, Help!

Posted by: Don Brouhaha, semi-something at Sep 3, 2004 4:59:08 PM

Semi workers, Don.
They drive the big trucks.

Posted by: spd rdr at Sep 3, 2004 5:09:15 PM

When a thread deteriorates, I am the last person you want to call. Unless it really is the end of the world.

**there, right back on topic**

Posted by: Pile On® at Sep 3, 2004 5:12:07 PM

When a thread deteriorates, you are usually the person responsible...


What about soft-working Americans or hard non-working Americans. Doesn't anybody care about them?

Posted by: Pile On® at September 3, 2004 01:48 PM

Posted by: Cassandra at Sep 3, 2004 5:48:01 PM

...that is, when it isn't me :)

You know I was going to do another contest today but I was too busy at work.

Speaking of which, I have to saddle up the Mystery Judge.

Posted by: Cassandra at Sep 3, 2004 5:51:21 PM

Oh Mystery Judge, where are you?

Cass has a nice saddle for you!

Posted by: Purple Raider at Sep 3, 2004 6:59:59 PM

So, unemployment figures went down...But job creation was flat when considering the reality of population growth. I wonder what could cause that?

Could it be that new workers aren't eligible for unemployment benefits and the other older unemployed people are being dumped off the rolls because they have been on it too long?

Job growth was a modest 144,000 in August, enough to absorb the increase in working-age population but, in the long-term, too small to actually lower unemployment (unless the labor force shrinks again, as it did last month). August's job growth follows two months of very weak growth of 73,000 in July and 96,000 in June and is substantially slower than the 295,000 jobs created monthly (on average) in March, April, and May. This pace of job creation is far slower than what the Bush Administration said would follow as a result of its 2003 tax cuts.

The Bush Administration called the tax cut package, which took effect in July 2003, its "Jobs and Growth Plan." The president's economics staff, the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA, see background documents), projected that the plan would result in the creation of 5.5 million jobs by the end of 2004 — 306,000 new jobs each month starting in July 2003. The CEA projected that the economy would generate 228,000 jobs a month without a tax cut and 306,000 jobs a month with the tax cut. Thus, it projected that 4,284,000 jobs would be created over the last 14 months. In reality, since the tax cuts took effect, there are 2,668,000 fewer jobs than the administration projected would be created by enactment of its tax cuts. The August job growth of 144,000 fell 162,000 jobs short of the administration's projection. As can be seen in the chart below, job creation failed to meet the administration's projections in 12 of the past 14 months.



Posted by: curveball at Sep 3, 2004 8:17:56 PM

Gee, or colleges opened their doors last month, perhaps enrolling people who were working in summer jobs.

And assuming the projections were wrong, let's ask the obvious question: without the tax cuts, do you think the job growth would be even worse still. It is likely, if the tax cut projection was high, the non-tax cut projection was also high. It isn't likely that the job growth would be the same with or w/o tax cuts. So we are still better off. And will someone ask and answer the other obvious question: has "total tax revenue" increased or decreased since the tax cuts? Remeber, tax rates don't determine the tax revenue brought in. Tax rates * taxable income do. Taxable income is not stagnant - tax rates affect the size of that number.

Posted by: KJ at Sep 4, 2004 12:25:07 AM