Getting Real About Jobs

By Duru

December 20, 2004


In 2004, one of the favorite sports of anti-Bushies was to deride the administration's forecast for jobs growth as overly optimistic and unrealistic. To the administration's credit, February forecasts nailed GDP growth at 3.9%. But those pesky jobs never did materialize. We were supposed to get 2.6 million jobs this year and only found about 1.4 million (all figures through November). My goodness - we would have had to double this year's job count just to match estimates! That is so far off as to be laughable. The bears and anti-Bushie's nailed that one.

But now that the election season is over, the Bushies can feel safe in getting real about jobs now. As a lot of us feared, all those many billions the government desperately spent to boost job growth are going to waste. The administration is lucky that America did not really care about job growth when it came down to voting for President. With the polls behind them, Americans can care even less and get what they paid for. Here is what can look forward to now:

2005:  2.1 million new jobs next year - not only is this figure less than this year's growth, it is far below original projections for 3.6 million. Wow - the incredible shrinking economy.

Next six years:  1.8 million jobs per year - on average. This is down from the last forecast of 2 million. At least we are holding the line in the long-term, but I suppose we can blame the coming Democratic administration in 2008 for this dip. =smiles=

It is quite interesting to note the contrast in economic fortunes. Companies have done well as evidenced by the strong GDP growth, but jobs have failed to follow through. It is quite clear where profits are going, especially with simultaneously stagnant wage growth. Since GDP forecasts still look nice and rosy (3.5%), we should expect current trends to continue. As they say, the rich get richer, and the poor get poorer. But what becomes the middle class is the real question. More debt to buy more imported goods and homes? Or eventual salvation by climbing into the upper class on the backs of more tax cuts? Hmmmm…..

*note all data quoted from "White House Sharply Reduces Expectations for Job Growth," by Greg Ip, December 20, 2004, Wall Street Journal


© DrDuru, 2004