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Friday, June 02, 2006

White House,"Everything is Wonderful!" Reality, "Things ain't all that Hot..."

(Keywords: , , , 's celebration over is )

"138, 000 New Jobs Created in April 2006! Over 5.2 Million New Jobs Created since August 2003! Unemployment Rate Below the Average of '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s! President Bush's Actions are Moving Our Economy Forward!"

Those are the words spinning and twirling, fading and flashing, on the White House's Jobs and Economic Growth page. The flash animation looks so much like an advertisement that, for a moment, I wondered if the White House had joined Adsense.

The administration has nothing to crow about this month, but that doesn't stop them from crowing. I especially like the 'Unemployment Rate Below the Average of '60s, '70s, '80s and '90s' - just keep adding decades and you'll include enough recessions to throw the average.

But, of course, this month's Jobs Report isn't nearly as sunny as the Administration would have you believe. ABC News has the real story:

Job growth faltered in May, with employers boosting payrolls by just 75,000. Yet the nation's unemployment rate dipped to 4.6 percent, the lowest since the summer of 2001.

The latest snapshot, released by the Labor Department on Friday, offered a mixed picture of the jobs climate. Wage growth, meanwhile, slowed, a development that should ease concerns about inflation getting out of hand.

The count of new jobs generated last month 75,000 was the smallest since October, when hiring practically stalled as companies were jolted by fallout from the Gulf Coast hurricanes. Job gains for March and April turned out to be weaker than previously reported.


So much for the Wonderful Actions of Perfect Leader. In fact, ABC reports, "Workers' average hourly earnings stood at $16.62 in May, a small 0.1 percent increase from April. That was smaller than the 0.3 percent rise economists were expecting and marked a moderation from a sharp pickup in earnings registered in April." According to InflationData.com, inflation was 3.55% in April, making the 0.1% earnings increase a de facto 3.54% loss for american workers. Funny, I don't feel like breaking out the champagne.

--Wisco