Skip to comments.(President) Bush, Kerry Spar Over New Jobs Figures
Posted on 09/03/2004 8:49:17 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
NEW YORK - President Bush (news - web sites) and Sen. John Kerry (news - web sites) clashed over figures showing modest monthly jobs growth Friday as they plunged into a nine-week post-convention sprint toward Election Day.
Previous presidents "have faced wars and recessions, but not one of them has failed to create a single job," Kerry said. He said the most recent statistics made it inevitable that Bush's term would end with a net loss of employment.
Not surprisingly, Bush offered a different interpretation.
"Overall, we've added about 1.7 million jobs since August 2003. The unemployment rate is down to 5.4 percent," he said.
"That's nearly a full point below the rate last summer and below the average of the 1970s and 1980s and 1990s."
Bush was in Pennsylvania, Kerry in next-door Ohio on the day after the close of the Republican National Convention. The two rivals are locked in a close race for the White House, according to public opinion polls, and are concentrating their efforts in 20 battleground states.
As in any presidential election, the economy figures prominently in the race for the White House, particularly in industrial states such as Pennsylvania and Ohio.
The latest government jobs report lent itself to competing interpretations.
It showed the overall unemployment rate fell slightly in August from 5.5 percent the previous month and was at the lowest level since October 2001. The economy added 144,000 jobs last month, slightly less than economists were forecasting but still the biggest gain since May.
Commander in Mischief
What happened to his previous stump line, "first president since Herbert Hoover to lose jobs."
I'm not going to lie - I'm relieved at today's numbers. Sure, 200K would have been nice, but I was afraid of a momentum-halting 50K or something like that... We can spin 144K, 5.4% and some upward revisions.
Are there still more people entering the job force for the first time annually than there are retiring?
Kerry doesn't spar. He huffs and puffs (bring it on) and then cries.
I find it funny how he says things like, " I will not have my record attacked", as if saying that will make everyone back off, but then cries when the criticism doesn't stop because he stomped his feet. What a wimp.
If the unemployment rate went down to 5.4% the household survey numbers must have been pretty good. Last month 627,000 jobs were added. I cannot understand why the Bush administration doesn't trumpet that fact. Jobs for large companies included in the Labor Dept. survey are not the only jobs which exist.
Well 144,000 is a good enough number to help Bush keep the momentum he should have gotten from the convention.
No need to spin it. The economy is growing, unemployment is shrinking. It is kerry that somehow has to try to spin this as bad news.
I agree, spin was the wrong word, we just need to say the facts, but you know what I'm saying. We need to educate.
Fall 2004 unemployment rate of 5.4% much lower than fall 1996 unemployment rate of 5.6%. The media knows this and so they don't quote these numbers anymore after they have for decades.
Also, the household survey becomes more and more important every year as more and more Americans become entrepeneurs.
My concern is that the Household survey showed only 21,000 new jobs, probably a more accurate reflection of employers' response to the record oil prices. Or just a reflection of the fact that these are SURVEYS with fairly large standard errors. The average for the last two months remains more than 300,000 new jobs, and more than a million new jobs during Bush's four years as President. But you won't hear that in the MSM. Only PAYROLL numbers, which they won't specify; they'll only say "jobs."
Seems like an awful lot of employed people to me. :>)
Kerry has never met a payroll or created jobs, nor has he helped passed or sponsored legislation that would create jobs in his 20 years of being a part-time Senator.