May 13, 2005,
By Jerry Bowyer
BuzzCharts had gotten so used to seeing the word “disappointing” precede the words “jobs report” in newspaper articles that we had come to believe it was a prefix and not its own word at all. Last week confirmed this: All jobs reports are to be qualified with the prefix “disappointing,” with the only variable being which groups of people are disappointed from month to month. This month it is the president’s critics and anti-supply-side fanatics who are reaching for the Zoloft smoothies.
Let us delve into their dismay.
First, like toddlers, the “jobless recovery” parrots keep repeating what they hear long after the repetition is cute. This dismal crowd simply doesn’t keep up with the data, which show that 274,000 payroll jobs were created in April while a jaw-dropping 598,000 new jobs were added according to the Labor Department’s household survey (which counts all forms of jobs, including self-employment).
Next there’s Paul Krugman and the entire agitprop division of the New York Times. When, last month, Krugman penned his infamous claim that we were facing a “Whiff of Stagflation,” he urged his readers to ignore the low unemployment figures as people had simply given up and were out of the work force entirely. But we now know that 605,000 people (a different number from the 598,000 new jobs for April) were surging into the workforce at the very time he was making this recommendation. This Krugman myth should die here and now. The unemployment rate is low because there are a lot of jobs, not because people aren’t looking for work. Since President Bush was first elected roughly 5 million people have reentered the work force. Since his tax cuts of 2003 were fully implemented, 2.3 million new workers have entered the labor markets. Both new job seekers and over a million previous job seekers have been absorbed.
There’s also the Ross Perot contingent or if you prefer, the Pat Buchanan contingent of the perennially disappointed employment watchdogs. From the signing of NAFTA on through to last week’s jobs report, the household survey shows that nearly 20 million jobs have been created. The payroll survey shows even slightly more. Lou Dobbs will simply have to face the bad news that the good news about jobs is true.
Finally there’s the class warriors, the group that always cries foul when so much is fair. When the president’s tax cuts were fully implemented two years ago (not just the lower income cuts, but the deferred upper-income cuts) the economy started to take off. It has since created roughly 3.5 million jobs (newly employed people (2.3 million) + unemployed people who found jobs (1.2 million) = new people in the labor force (3.5 million)). Note that this did not begin until the wealthy got their tax cut, too.
Since that historic moment when the president finally got his economic recovery program implemented we’ve seen far-higher-than-average GDP growth, increasing tax revenues, historically low interest rates, and 3.5 million new jobs. There’s a name for something like this it’s called a boom.