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Labor Day Finds Little to Celebrate in Recent Trends

OMB Watch – Labor Day Finds Little to Celebrate in Recent Trends
Yesterday we celebrated Labor Day. Unfortunately, there has not been much to celebrate in the labor market over the last 4 years. A look at the recent record shows an extremely under-performing labor market economy.
Employment
Since the start of 2001, the economy has lost nearly a million jobs. Part of the job-loss was due to the recession, however, even after 2001 the labor market has just barely crept along. Measuring from the end of the recession, the economy has added an average of only 18,000 jobs a month.
This stands in stark contrast with previous administrations and recent historical experience. Over the last 30 years, employment growth has averaged a healthy 150,000 jobs. Looking at the past six 4-year terms, on average, a 4-year term will contain 30 months with growth above this level. Under the Bush administration, there have only been 4 months with satisfactory levels of growth. (See figure below). The Bush Administration will be the only administration since Herbert Hoover in the 1930’s to have a net job loss during its term in power.

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