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George Bush - Plus Jobs

With today's release of the December jobs figures, it becomes official that George Bush has hit the "Plus Jobs" mark for his first term as President. The economy created 157,000 jobs in December.

When George Bush took office in Jan 2001 the BLS listed total employment (Total nonfarm payroll employment - seasonally adjusted) at 132.167 million jobs and today that number stands at 132.266 million jobs, making Bush "Plus Job" in his first term, with one month to go.

Mind you, the whole thing was a farce.

At the onset of the 2004 campaign, Kerry and the Democrats tried running against what they gleefully called "The Bush Economy." I said repeatedly that it was a dumb move. (funny they didn't listen.) They kept hammering the "Bush Economy" until numbers like this started showing up. Is it any wonder about the third quarter of last year they needed a new hook? Suddenly the term "Bush Economy" never got mentioned again.

That's when some clever Democrat noticed that after 9/11 and the internet bubble burst we lost a lot of jobs that we had not made back yet. A statistical quirk that would make great fodder for the campaign... or so they thought. That is when Democrats came up with the "First President to lose jobs since Herbert Hoover" line.

Ultimately the line failed. Why? Because at the end of the day, despite the Democrats trying to paint an unflattering picture of the economy, voters knew inherently that we were in good shape. Any honest and qualified economist will tell you that we have been plus jobs for a year or longer. Today's numbers are in fact, deeply flawed but they are the ones the Democrats used. It didn't take a long explanation of how the numbers were flawed for the American voters to know it, they could feel it. Sure the gullible believed it but they are just that.. Gullible. Those people weren't going to vote Republican anyway.

It shouldn't matter because it was a trumped up campaign line, based on flawed data anyway, but for the record, even using the payroll survey, George Bush is plus jobs - sorry liberals.

December Hiring Helps Fuel Job Growth

WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. employers added 157,000 workers overall to their payrolls in December, bringing the year-end total of new jobs to 2.2 million, the best showing in five years. The unemployment rate held steady at 5.4 percent.

The Labor Department reported Friday that the 2.2 million new jobs created in 2004 were the most in any year since 1999, when employers added 3.2 million positions, based on a government survey of businesses.

Now I'd like to see a post from a liberal blogger that tax cuts don't fuel job growth.


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference George Bush - Plus Jobs:

» Right Thoughts linked with Oops!

» Murdoc Online linked with Don't be a Hoover

Comments (39)

Lets see... In 4 years sin... (Below threshold)

Lets see... In 4 years since his presidency, I've lost one job to layoff, got another higher paying job. Yep, I'm in much worse shape.

So now we only need all the... (Below threshold)
Bill K:

So now we only need all the jobs for the 150K new workers entering the work force a month and we will be set.

OH? Do you have a link for ... (Below threshold)

OH? Do you have a link for that?

I personally know 3 people ... (Below threshold)

I personally know 3 people who have lost their jobs during the Bush Reign. They are now employed (it took an average of 1 year for them to find new employment) at a fraction of what they were previously making. There may be new jobs created, but I'll wager they are in the service industry or other low paying jobs.

Do I have a link stating th... (Below threshold)
Bill K:

Do I have a link stating that new people enter the work force on a daily basis? Or, do I have a link that 150K a month do? I guess the fact that 157,000 new jobs were created and the unemployment rate held steady would be as good as a link, wouldn't it?

I mean, you can't honestly believe that only .099 million people entered the workforce over the last 4 years, can you?

I congratulate Bush on getting back to his starting point. I hope it continues. I just kind of think it is like doing a touchdown dance after scoring the touchdown that brought you back within 14, with two minutes to go. Perhaps you should just be handing the ball to the ref and focusing on the next step.

Ummmm Bill What is the unem... (Below threshold)

Ummmm Bill What is the unemployment rate? What was it under Clinton...

I hate to ruin a perfectly good Kosmonut talking point but sometimes reality wins.

Paul,Honestly, tha... (Below threshold)
Bill K:


Honestly, that is the stupidest arguement you have ever made. It reeks of partisanship and it is blind to reality.

Look at this post of mine (Unemployment rates)

The general point is that, though, yes, Clinton (at one point) was in charge of an unemployment rate of 5.4%, he started with a 6.9% and ended with a 4.0%. Bush started with a 4.0%, went up to a 6.0% (or higher), and now is back down to 5.4%.

There is a huge difference. And for you to even imply they are the same is just silly.

You are a smart man, who has bested me before, but to pull ta smug response like that, that you know has no bearing on reality and is a piss poor comparison to the current situation, is beneath you.

I think the comments above ... (Below threshold)

I think the comments above are missing the point. I don't think the post says that Bush has done a great job (it makes no sense to evaluate a president on the economy from the day he takes office to the day he leaves, it is much more complicated than that). He is simply pointing out that the Herbert Hoover line is in fact wrong, after all the hype it was given.

Honestly, that is the st... (Below threshold)

Honestly, that is the stupidest arguement you have ever made.

Bill because you don't have enough knowledge to understand my point does not make it stupid.

How about an explanation of payroll vs survey numbers and who the whole liberal talking point was bogus anyway?

Have any clue what I'm talking about?

Yes, the Liberal media have... (Below threshold)

Yes, the Liberal media have really sold this "failing economy" lie til we're all tired of hearing it. No one I know is unemployed or homeless, so I know it can't be true.

Not only that, our President believes in a strong dollar policy, so it's plunging value is just more scare talk.

The deficit is going to be cut in half by the end of the century, now that the Party of fiscal restraint is finally in control.

It's the Social Security Crisis that is really a danger to America's fiscal solvency.

duh that should say "and WH... (Below threshold)

duh that should say "and WHY the whole liberal talking point was bogus."

I lost my job under Bush (a... (Below threshold)

I lost my job under Bush (and under Clinton THREE TIMES) and all of those incidents were "RIF" lay offs. On average it took me anywhere from 6 to 9 months to find a new job where the pay was comparable (still looking right now), but (and I guess TX is a loner here) while on unemployment, for the first two months I did NOT have to take a job that paid less than the one I lost, and after 8 weeks, I only have to be willing to accept a 25% cut in pay (still leaving me at $11.00 an hour). And just so you know, I've been laid off and I've had to lay people off, it sucks even more from the manager's P.O.V. But no matter what ANYONE tries to tell me, IT IS NEVER ANY ONE GOVERNMENT OFFICIAL'S "FAULT", it's just the way the business world works!

Well, since real income on ... (Below threshold)

Well, since real income on average has continued to increase throughout the Bush administration, one would assume that the jobs are better than all of those minimum wage jobs that were created under the previous administration.

I was out of work for a whi... (Below threshold)

I was out of work for a while, then got a MUCH better job with more pay.

Thanks, George!

note: I'm with Smoke Eater. I think George had nothing to do with either the one I lost or the one I gained.

So are you implying that 4%... (Below threshold)
Justin B:

So are you implying that 4% unemployment is "HEALTHY" for the economy or Unhealthy. I am inclined to say that it is pretty damn unhealthy when you see the net effect of higher inflation and the downside of it creating a recession. Just look at unemployment numbers historically before 1996. Ever see anything even close to 5% let alone 4%?

We want sustained economic growth, not huge peaks and valleys of economic activity. Running at 4% may make it look like Clinton did a great, job, but that was fueled by Y2K, the Internet Bubble, and created rapid inflation. Looks good on paper, but it is like drinking too much tequila... the next day you have to pay for it.

5.4% unemployment is damn good historically. The economy is doing very well. 9-11 and hte recession were not Bush's fault, but his administration has successfully been able to rapidly recover from the problems after the recession and things are back on track.

I wasn't saying your whole ... (Below threshold)
Bill K:

I wasn't saying your whole post was your stupidest arguement, I meant your comment above mine was your stupidest arguement.

OHHH so lemme see if I have... (Below threshold)

OHHH so lemme see if I have this right.

You post a meaningless talking point that you have no link to back up.

Then you point me to a post you've made with data that you don't understand.

Then you call my argument stupid.


Why does the report you lin... (Below threshold)

Why does the report you link to show 132.167 million jobs in January 2001 but the "Most Requested Statistics" tables on BLS.gov show 132.388 million? If the second number is accurate, it still shows Bush losing 122,000 jobs in the seasonally-adjusted CES so far.

Not that I'm arguing your point (please don't hit me!) I'm just wondering about the discrepancy. The report you link to doesn't show that number as being preliminary.

Here are the tables I refer to: http://data.bls.gov/cgi-bin/surveymost?ce

No, not at all. I make a d... (Below threshold)
Bill K:

No, not at all. I make a downer comment to your one about liberal talking points being wrong. ("So now we only need all the jobs for the 150K new workers entering the work force a month") Then you ask for a link, i respond, then you make a snide remark, which I called stupid.

The data in the post was pretty damn easy to comprehend seeing as how it is a number transcribed from a chart.

You were saying the economy is good, liberals are stupid for saying something other than that. I was saying, "it ain't that good." And then you brought in Clinton for no reason what so ever.

I dunno Murdoc, lemme check... (Below threshold)

I dunno Murdoc, lemme check.

Bill, if you think that my ... (Below threshold)

Bill, if you think that my bringing up Clinton (read: historical unemployment figures) was "for no reason" then you clearly don't understand what you are talking about.

Yes, your numbers are easy to read... Now let me give you another number easy to read: 47.

Can you tell me what 47 means?
47 potatoes? 47 Bricks in a pile?

You have posted a sting of numbers but you have no clue what they mean in the larger picture.

Here's a hint:

Answer my question about payroll vs survey THEN you might have a little credibility.

Till then you are just repeating Kos's talking points and whining when I point that out.

Murdoc, at first glance it ... (Below threshold)

Murdoc, at first glance it is a head scratcher... If you notice on the link to the 2001 data, go to Table A.

If you go to the "employment" section and look at "Nonfarm employment" you will see there IS NOT a "p" in front of the number for January. (but there is on the other months) The P stands for projected.

*Usually* the projections are low. That is why I linked to the April report and not the Jan report. The Jan numbers were lower and easier to beat but alas they were a projection. April should have given us the "final" numbers for Jan. Perhaps they revised them outside the customary 90 day window??? I dunno.

I don't use the "most commonly requested" so I am behind the curve... To my way of thinking the numbers should be the same... Lemme dig further. (It might take a couple of hours, believe it or not, I do have a real life. ;-)

Good catch


In the end, I bet we are reading something wrong, but I'll figure it out.

Paul, Honestly, yo... (Below threshold)
Bill K:


Honestly, you are getting at a point I don't understand then.

Because no matter how flawed you think the payroll survey is - - or how great you think the household survey is, economists and investors seem to believe that the payroll survey number matters. And, no matter which you look at, America under Clinton thrived in both.

Either way, I think my main point stands. That, this is good news, but I wouldn't break your arm patting yourself on the back just yet.

"Honestly, you are getting ... (Below threshold)

"Honestly, you are getting at a point I don't understand then."

Not a surprise, since all you are doing is saying "Nuh-uh" to everything Paul posts. As per usual.

Jim,Amazing respon... (Below threshold)
Bill K:


Amazing response. I don't even think Paul would agree with that. If he does, then I will stop posting comments on here at altogether.

But, Jim, fantastic insight on the subject my friend. Nothing about the post, nothing about any actual comment about the post. Just a slam on somebody that disagrees with you on a subject. Well, I guess I don't even know if I disagree with you, because you actually haven't even made a point. As per usual.

I think the subject of Paul... (Below threshold)

I think the subject of Paul's post is just saying that 9/11 ruined everything, that the economy can't be blamed on Bush, and its certainly not to Bush's deficit that we were able to come back pre-9/11 times.

Besides, the Internet bust f*cked over our economy just around the time Bush took office, no?

Normal cycle of business, bust, boom, bust, boom ;-)
to blame it on a sitting president....is pointless.

I'm not sure which blogger ... (Below threshold)
Carrick Talmadge:

I'm not sure which blogger posted (didn't see a signature), but I totally agree that this is bogus statistic. If you want to measure the impact of Bush's policies, you have to start from January 1, 2002 rather than January 31, 2001.

If you want to check the numbers yourself, here is how you do it:

1) go to http://www.bls.gov/data/home.htm
2) Select "B" Tables
3) Select "1) Employees on nofarm payrolls ..."
4) Select for example "Total private" in the "Seasonally adjusted" column.

Next pick inauguration year + 1 to account for the delay in the implementation of their policies. Of course, this is unfair for Clinton's first term, since he was an abject failure his first six months or so, and basically costed on GHW Bush's economic policies throughout his first four years.

Anyway, I find (in thousands)

Clinton i, inaug 1993, start of policy effect 1994, jobs = 93,326
Clinton ii, inaug 1997, start of policy 1998, jobs = 107,393
Bush i, inaug 2001, start of policy 2002, jobs = 109,123
Bush ii, inaug 2005, start of policy 2006, cur jobs = 110,550

Assuming that the job market doesn't back slide, Bush will have created net positive jobs at the end of his first term policy period. However, there are still fewer jobs than at the end of the .com bubble, with 111,643 thousand jobs. At the current growth rate, the total private (non-farm) jobs should reach a new historical maximum somewhere around July 1.

Carrick: I understand what ... (Below threshold)

Carrick: I understand what you're getting at by saying we have to use "inauguration +1 year" to really reflect the policies of the president in question. We might debate the exact formula to use or we might not.

However, that isn't what the "first president to lose jobs since Hoover" crowd was doing, and it's that crowd that Paul is responding to. The claim of Bush losing jobs was a campaign slogan of the Dems, and this job watch should follow the ground rules they established with their initial claim.

If you were referring to me above, I wasn't saying that this was a "bogus statistic". I was saying that there were two different figures from BLS for the same month depending on where you looked. Using one shows a slight gain in jobs for Bush, using the other shows a slight loss. I haven't been able to track down the reason yet. The table you refer to gives the number showing a slight loss.

In any event, the numbers haven't worked out like the Dems (or the GOP, for that matter) predicted.

Bill- I hate to be a jerk b... (Below threshold)

Bill- I hate to be a jerk but read his post then reconsider your reply to me.

You posted a non-sensical bogus number you had no source for (other than Kos) to deflate my point.

Instead, maybe you could be intellectually honest and admit that A) The dems were wrong and B) When you create 2.2 million jobs per year, things are booming.

EVEN WITH the dot com craze Clinton did not average 2.2 million jobs per year.

So do I believe that you simply say ""Nuh-uh" to what I posted???

You be the judge.

Well, Bush isn't averaging ... (Below threshold)
Bill K:

Well, Bush isn't averaging 2.2 million jobs created per year either and, if you look at the blockquote you have in your post it reads:

The Labor Department reported Friday that the 2.2 million new jobs created in 2004 were the most in any year since 1999, when employers added 3.2 million positions, based on a government survey of businesses.

Who was in charge in 99?

Honestly, in my opinion President's don't have much control over the economy anyway. I seriously was just hitting you for celebrating early.

As for the Kos thing, (1) I... (Below threshold)
Bill K:

As for the Kos thing, (1) I really didn't get the 150,000 number from him. It was most likely from a news report though as many mention the number of people entering the work force. (2) It isn't a non-sensical bogus number, The Economic Policy Institue, puts the number at 137,000.

By the way, after doing, I don't know 5 seconds of research, I found that Clinton created 22.1 million jobs in 8 years. That is an average of 2.77 million a year. So, who is throwing out non-sensical numbers wth no proof?

I dunno where you did your ... (Below threshold)

I dunno where you did your research-- and you may be right by Kerry was making a big deal of Clinton "creating" 13 million jobs. Maybe is was wrong about that too.

But you are dodging the point Bill. Rather than accept that the Dems were wrong and that we are booming, you just try to poo-poo good news.

The guys had you busted... You just don't like to admit it.

The 157,000 still doesn't b... (Below threshold)

The 157,000 still doesn't bring bush to even with the number of jobs at the start of his term. He still needs another 150,000 or so.

Even if he makes it, what a lousy record - not one ADDITIONAL job since he was selected in 2000.

As for this from above:

"Well, since real income on average has continued to increase throughout the Bush administration,"

That's false - income increases are less than inflation for Bush's first term.

Of course the bushies did create millions of jobs
IN ASIA in particular in COMMUNIST CHINA!!

Isn't that great? Bushies helping the commies and telling us it is for the common good!


O.K. So as an American liv... (Below threshold)

O.K. So as an American living in Aisa, Americans need to realize how good they have it. And how about when you have a higher paying job do a little more SAVING. Don't increase your standard of living, just SAVE so that when the day comes and you find yourself jobless, then maybe a service industry job might feel enjoyable and you won't have the worry of not being able to pay the bills or afford schooling for your children. Let's be a little less consumption driven, which by the way appears to be very obnoxious to the rest of the world.

And on another note...let's... (Below threshold)

And on another note...let's get this and it's what both sides of the aisle know, but won't tell the American public. WE CAN NOT COMPETE against the Asian countries. Their cost of living is minute compared to the U.S., so they can afford to produce at a lower cost. And you know what? They do high quality work, they are hungry. As long as American consume, then more manufacturing wil go to Asia. Oh, and to the last guy who wrote bad things about the "Commies" and CHina...get your head out of the sand and take a good look at your outside world. Get yourself a passport, save some money and do some travelling. Don't be so ignorant about things you've not experienced.

Hey - I'm not allowed to tr... (Below threshold)

Hey - I'm not allowed to travel to Commie Cuba why should I go to Commie China?

As for getting laid off and finding a "service" job - like pushing a broom or running a cash register it does't work well if you are over 40 and have no experience at the job. They want younger people to do those jobs.

When you're software engineering jobs gets sent to India or your manufacturing jobs gets sent to Commie China. And yes they still are Commies, no matter what gloss the righties wnat to put on it.

Yes, it is true they may st... (Below threshold)

Yes, it is true they may still be communist, but my friend face facts, within the next 15 years China will be the biggest and most powerful economy in the world. You see consumerism is catching up there to.

Can you produce software and other manufactured goods for less? If not why?

If I were you, I'd shake the anti-communist thing and perhaps encourage your children to learn Mandarin. Because unlike the SOviet Union when communism fell, the Chinese are much smarter. They have their economy in place. If their economy succeeds, then it won't matter what political structure they have, they wil win.

Oh and here' some advice. In the Land of the Free you have the freedom to become an entrepreneur. So if companies find that you're over 40 and overqualified to push a broom, then start a broom pushing company.

Pass it around that Americans need to learn that we are not the be all end all. Humble yourselves, the world is much larger than the U.S. Where do you think most of the intellectual talent is coming from these days?

CB - My point is that the r... (Below threshold)

CB - My point is that the right wingers love calling those they hate "communists" at the same time they are making Communist China into the next superpower, and letting us become dependent on them for manufacturing all the necessities of life.

Does't there seem to be a big contradiction in those two views?

But then I don't expect much from righties when it comes to logic, or facing reality.

Let me get this straight -<... (Below threshold)

Let me get this straight -

Assuming no population growth and no net new workers (graduates, immigration, etc.), you are excited Bush may have created 100,000 jobs in four years?

With a "war-time" economy and spending out of control ($200 billion budget surplus under Clinton in 2000 to over $450 billion deficit in 2005 under Bush), you are excited by a possible 100,000 jobs? Bush was given a credit card with a $650 billion limit and he can not create 150,000 new jobs?

Maybe he should have placed that order for armor for our troops and vehicles in 2003 ,and he would have created those extra jobs to put him over the top.

Clinton created over 20 million jobs in 8 years AND took record deficits to surplus budgets. Do you think Bush will create 20 million jobs in the next four years and eliminate the deficit? I do not think so.

Please do not compare Clinton and Bush - Bush is not in the same league. The Dems were correct during the election, Bush has had a net loss in overall jobs. Check out this web site to compare:


If we do not invade Iran next, wait until all those American reservists and contractors come home from Iraq and want their old jobs back. I wonder how the job situation will look then. Maybe if more Americans come home in bodybags from Iraq, Bush can fill more positions and add to his numbers....






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