Jobs in America Vol. 1-Unemployment

How Bush and his tax and economic policies have failed in Job Creation

Over the past couple of weeks we’ve heard from the right on the status of the economy and the sucess of the Bushco tax cuts in stimulating economic growth.  While I don’t intend on adressing the impact of the tax cuts directly, I’m going to take a look at some of the econmic statistics which have an affect on the overwhelming majority of Americans. Today’topic is unemployment.

Bonddad has had a series of posts looking at the job creation of the Bush economy, some comments have raised questions on the impact of ageing “boomers” and other demographic trends. Based on these questions I decided to take a look into the unemployment numbers and found some not so suprising results.

More below….

The Official Unemployment Rate

presented by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (the sources for all the data presented) stood at 4.2% when King George II, the Holy Emperor of Rovania, took office in January 2001. It began a  rapid slide soon after his coronation , increasing by 1.5% in the King’s first year in office.  Yes, the Tech “Bubble” had an impact, as did the horrendous tradgedies on September 11th, 2001, however employment declined rapidly throughout the year and actually job losses actually slowed to some degree near the end of the year and

through much of 2002. As far as the official stats go, summer 2003 was the lowest point for employment, reaching a level of

6.3% unemployment a full 2.1% swing from January 2001. Slow but reasonably steady job growth has occurred sinsce the summer of 2003 and at the end of 2005 the offical rate stands at only 4.9% unemployment. So far a net loss of .7% for King George.

What does

this mean in terms of prople’s lives?

In January 2001, there were 6.1 Million Americans unemployed, in December 2005 this has increased to 7.4 Million. This is only a 21% increase in the number of unemployed Americans, not too bad for the boy who would be King. Excellent performance, in fact, for the modern CEO.

The $64,000 Question

Does the “Official Rate Reflect Reality????”

The short answer is “Of course not, who are we kidding.”

The BLS tracks some other handy statistics such as their U6 Rate.  This includes the unemployed, plus those that have recently become discouraged and left the “workforce”, plus those that are “Marginally Attached” (e.g. contract workers, temps etc.) plus those that have taken part time work for “Economic Reasons” (e.g. providing food and shalter for their families).

This statistic has only been tracked since 1994 and data quality in the early years looks somewhat suspect, however it does provide a different perspective.

Over the reign of King George, this statistic has more or less mirrored the official rate but at the end of 2005 stands at 8.6%.  A 1.2 percentage point increase over the level in Jan 2001.  This translates into an increase of 2.2 Million Unemployed and marginally employed Americans.  Again not bad for the shrubbery currently inhabiting the White House. Boy those supply side curves realy work.

Looking beyond the “Official” Unemployment rates, I decided to create my own statistic.  I looked at the percent of people between the ages of 16-65 who are unemployed in any fashion.  This removes the “workforce participation” status manipulations. As you can see from the chart, 23.8% of Non-institutionalized Americans were not employed in any fashion in January 2001.  At the end of 2005 this has increased about 1.9 percentage points to 25.7%.  On the face, not too bad, but looking at the number of jobs it would take to get back to 23.8%, given today’s population in the 16-65 range King George II, his high holiness, comes up 4.1 Million jobs short.  {See bottom Chart)

In his mind I’m sure this is good for cake sales, but for the rest of us not so good.

Next volume, employment by age, and incomes.

0 0 votes
Article Rating