Brutal, but from 2003:
The administration can spin its ‘recovery’ any way it wants. But working families can’t pay their bills with data about the gross domestic product. They need the income from steady employment. And when it comes to employment, the Bush administration has compiled the worst record since the Great Depression. …
The jobs picture is far more harrowing than it is usually presented by the media. Despite modest wage increases for those who are working, the unemployment rate is 6.1 percent, which represents almost nine million people. Millions more have become discouraged and left the labor market. And there are millions of men and women who are employed but working significantly fewer hours than they’d like.
This is an excerpt from a column written by Bob Herbert, a New York Times journalist and columnist. Herbert wrote the column in 2003 (he left the Times in 2011) when George W. Bush was president.
Bush inherited a recession from Clinton and had been in office less than three years. Barack Obama has just entered his fifth year as president.
In October of 2003, unemployment was 6.1%. Today it is 7.7%.
The GDP during the third quarter of 2003 was 7.2%. Today it is 0.4%.
Today the poverty rate has hit a 45 year high and the labor participation rate a 34 year low.
More from the New York Times’ wayback machine:
According to government statistics, there are nearly 4.5 million people working part-time because they have been unable to find full-time work. In many cases, as the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas noted in a recent report, the part-time worker is ‘earning far less money than his or her background and experience warrant — i.e. a computer programmer working at a coffee shop.’
Economists expect some modest job creation to occur over the next several months. But there’s a ‘just in time for the election’ quality to the current economic surge, and even Republicans are worried that the momentum may not last.
My thanks to @_RobRob for the find.
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