Friday, March 05, 2004

Jobs - where are they?

No doubt, you've heard about the tepid job growth in February:
U.S. employers added a paltry 21,000 workers to their payrolls last month, according to a surprisingly weak government report on Friday that appeared certain to weigh on President Bush as he seeks re-election.
But did you know this? (from the same story)
The report also showed job creation in December and January was weaker than previously thought, adding to the gloomy tone of the report. The department revised lower its count of jobs gains in January to 97,000 from 112,000 and for December to just 8,000 from 16,000.
That's an average of 42,000 for each of the three months. If that rate holds (42k/mo), there will be a half-million net new jobs in 2004. Not a whole lot.

Oddly though, that the unemployment rate is steady at 5.6%

UPDATE: There is this, from another news article:
The number of unemployed workers in the United States who have exhausted regular jobless benefits without qualifying for more was expected to reach a record 760,000 by the end of last month, and that number could swell to more than 1 million by midyear, according to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
And let's not forget that the Republicans in Congress declined to extend the unemployment benefits recently.


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