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Bush Administration’s tax cuts falling short in job creation
The Bush Administration called the tax cut package, which was passed in May 2003 and 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 result in the creation of 5.5 million jobs by the end of 2004—306,000 new jobs each month, starting in July 2003. Although jobs increased by 57,000 last month, November 2003, the "Jobs and Growth Plan" still fell 249,000 jobs short of the administration’s projection. The administration projected that a total of 1,530,000 jobs would be created in the first five months after the tax cuts took effect. In fact, only 271,000 jobs were created over those five months for a cumulative shortfall of 1,259,000 jobs.

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First time that jobs contracted two years after the end of a recession
Since the recession ended 24 months ago in November 2001, 726,000 jobs have disappeared, a 0.6% contraction. This is the first time since monthly job statistics began in 1939 that there has not been positive growth in jobs for two years after a recession ended. Two years into the "jobless recovery" of the early 1990s, jobs had grown by 1.3%. In every other recovery, jobs had grown by at least 5.0% by this stage. If jobs had grown by 5.0% in the last two years, there would have been 7.3 million more jobs in November.

Change in total employment 24 months after a recession ended

Worst performance of manufacturing jobs in a "recovery"
The manufacturing sector, which employs 11% of the workforce, has borne the brunt of the job losses in recent years. In the last two years, manufacturing employment has declined by 1.3 million, or 8.1%. That record is far worse than the first two years following any previous recession. Even the 2.0% decline in manufacturing employment following the recession that ended in March 1991 does not equal the number of manufacturing jobs lost during this "recovery." In the first eight recoveries since 1939 that lasted at least two years, manufacturing enjoyed strong job growth of between 5.0% and 16.2%. If manufacturing jobs had grown at the slowest recovery rate prior to 1990, 2.1 million additional manufacturing jobs would have been created.

Change in manufacturing employment 24 months after a recession ended

States plagued by higher unemployment
Given the grim national job picture, it’s not surprising that most states are facing troubled job markets. In every state the unemployment rate is still higher than it was when the recession started. In 32 states across the country, at least a full percentage point more of the labor force cannot find work than at the official start of the recession in March 2001. Eight states have seen at least a two percentage point increase in the unemployment rate.

The job losses observed for the nation as a whole are pervasive across the states. Nearly two and a half years after March 2001, 36 states still have fewer jobs than they did at the onset of the recession, compared to only 19 states with fewer jobs after the recession of the 1990s (see state data and organizations).


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