OMB Watch – Economy and Jobs Watch: Another Administration Projection Bites the Dust
Yet another economic projection by the administration is falling short – and in record time. Just a couple weeks after the publication of the Economic Report of the President, which forecasted 3.8 million* new jobs would be created in 2004, administration officials appears to be backing off the job estimates. The forecast was for 320,000 new jobs every month – a number most observers agree is exceptionally high. Job growth has not reached even half this level in any month over the past three years, according to data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Unfortunately, this is part of a pattern of forecasts from the administration that appear to be wildly inaccurate. While there is always a degree of uncertainty in any economic forecast, the size of the errors and revisions seems to be exceptionally large, and the direction of the errors always appear to be in the favor of the political goals of the administration.
Accuracy and honesty in economic and budget projections is a necessity when formulating policy. By backing away from estimates produced by the presidentís top economic advisors, the administration is turning budgetary and economic projections into a guessing game for those citizens concerned with the financial health of the country.