Bush Administration’s tax cuts falling short in job creation
The Bush Administration called the tax cut package, which took effect in July 2003, its “Jobs and Growth Plan.” The president’s economics staff, the Council of Economic Advisers (see background documents), projected that the plan would raise the level of growth enough to create 5.5 million jobs by the end of 2004—344,000 new jobs each month, starting in July 2003. Last month, August 2003, the jobs and growth plan fell 437,000 jobs short of the administration’s projection.

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High unemployment eroding wages
Continued high unemployment has affected those who have remained employed by depressing wage growth. Comparing wages in the first half of 2003 to those a year earlier shows that the growth of hourly wages has fallen behind inflation across the board—down 0.7%, 0.1%, and 1.0%, respectively, for low-, middle-, and high-wage workers. In contrast, wages grew far faster than inflation in the prior year, increasing by 3.1% for low-wage workers, 1.9% for middle-wage workers, and 2.1% for high-wage workers. (See National Jobs and Wages for more analysis of job and wage trends.)

Greatest employment contraction since the Great Depression
Since the recession began 29 months ago in March 2001, 3.3 million private sector jobs have disappeared, a 2.9% contraction. This is the largest sustained loss of jobs since the Great Depression. Since the official end of the recession in November 2001, there has been a 1.3 million loss in private sector jobs, a 1.1% contraction. Unemployment has risen to over 8.9 million people, as the unemployment rate increased from 4.0% in 2000 to 6.1% in August 2003. (See State Data and Organizations for more information on your state.)


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