Thursday, April 29, 2004

Show Me The Jobs
By Judith Gorman, AlterNet

For the past several weeks, President Bush has been barnstorming the
country to tell us the good news - the nation's payrolls grew by
308,000 in the month of March, the largest one month jump in four
years. "People are finding jobs, and the nation's future is bright.
America's families and workers have reason to be optimistic."

So what are these "new jobs?" Well, 13,000 of them are California
grocery workers returning to work after an extended strike. Another
31,000 represent new government jobs. 71,000 "new jobs" are in the
construction industry, a seasonal upswing independent of the
President's policies. 11,000 "new jobs" are in credit intermediation,
reflecting the surge in home refinancing due to low interest rates.
And 36,000 "new jobs" are in health care or social assistance, jobs
created to help people who no longer have jobs.

What the President fails to mention is the bad news. As New Jersey
Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ) remarked: "Only in the Bush 'economic
recovery' can our country gain jobs and increase the unemployment
rate in the same month."

......So where does President Bush's good news come from? Corporate profits
have risen 57.5% since the first quarter of 2001, while private wage
and salary income has fallen 1.7%. According to Business Week, the
average compensation for CEO's of large corporations in 2003 was $8.1
million, up 9.1% from the previous year. In the Bush lexicon, that's
called a "recovery."

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