Friday, October 08, 2004
The Other 97.5% II: Another Shoe Drops
There's lots of economic news for the candidates to fuss over tonight! As the Senate Joint Economic Committee puts it:
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced today that the economy added 96,000 new payroll jobs in September. According to BLS, severe weather in September “appears to have held down employment growth.” The unemployment rate remained at 5.4 percent, well below its peak of 6.3 percent last June, and below the average unemployment rates of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. BLS also announced today that employment growth between April 2003 and March 2004 was underestimated by approximately 236,000 jobs, or an average of 20,000 jobs per month. If this revision is taken into account, 1.9 million new payroll jobs have been created since April 2003.
Some commentators and journalists [heads up, Herr Doktorprofessor Paul Von Krugman, this means YOU] have recently stated that job growth has failed to keep up with population growth. This is false. Since the unemployment rate peaked at 6.3 percent last June, total employment has increased by 2.2 million, the labor force has increased by 949,000, and unemployment has fallen by 1.2 million. Due to the large increase in employment and large decrease in unemployment, the unemployment rate has fallen significantly, despite population growth.
During September, 96,000 new payroll jobs were created. The unemployment rate remained at 5.4 percent.
According to a preliminary estimate of annual revisions to the payroll survey, employment growth between April 2003 and March 2004 was underestimated by approximately 236,000 jobs, or an average of 20,000 jobs per month.
Approximately 1.9 million new jobs have been created since last April once this benchmark estimate is taken into account.
The strong growth of payroll employment, however, does not tell the whole story because it does not include self-employment. According to the household survey, which includes self employment, total employment has increased by more than 2.2 million since last April. ....
In the 100 days following September 11, 2001, nearly 1 million jobs were lost. ... After a sustained increase beginning in mid-2000, new claims for unemployment insurance are as low as they’ve been in nearly 4 years. Inflation and interest rates are near historical lows. The homeownership rate in the U.S. is at a record-high of 69.3 percent, and the minority homeownership rate is also the highest it’s ever been. Inflation-adjusted after-tax income – the broadest measure of how much money Americans take home at the end of the day – has increased by 10 percent since December 2000....
A Recent History of Benchmark Revisions: http://jec.senate.gov/_files/BenchmarkRevisions.pdf