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Wednesday, April 12, 2006

More Good News on the Economic Front

As I reported on Saturday, the Department of Labor's latest report shows good news on the economic front in the way of job creation. Unemployment is down to 4.7%; 211,000 new jobs were created in March, 2.1 million in the last year; and over 5 million new jobs have been created since June 2003.

“But those are low-paying, dead-end jobs!” That’s been the cry of the left, who simply cannot admit that even one positive thing has happened since George W. Bush has been President. Well, they are going to have to come up with some other way to downplay the importance of these impressive employment numbers.

Mark Trumbull of The Christian Science Monitor writes a good summary of the types of jobs that are being created. While low-paying jobs such as those in retail services and leisure/hospitality are among the new jobs that are being created, they are by no means the only jobs that are being created.

Trumbull writes that

Management and professional occupations are employing 1.2 million more people this month than a year ago - or about 1 in 3 new jobs in America. This is the highest-paying of five broad categories tracked by the Labor Department. Not all of them are CEOs or engineers, but the median paycheck for full-time workers in this category is $937 a week, far above the US median of $651.

The construction industry continues to hammer out more than its share of new jobs. It accounts for about 6.4 percent of US jobs, but has provided 14.4 percent of the past year's job growth. The quality of construction jobs is mixed - often offering higher hourly pay than the US median but with lower benefits.

Even the manufacturing sector, which has long offered blue-collar workers a measure of middle-class prosperity, appears to be stabilizing after a period of heavy job losses. Despite downsizing in the automotive industry, 175,000 more people are employed in production occupations today than a year ago.

Trumbull adds that the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, which tracks the higher-paying versus lower-paying jobs that are being added to the economy, has found that "the new jobs in the economy are the kind that tend to pull average wages up, not down."

Positive economic news like this is being released month after month, yet I still hear people talking about the poor economy. It's true that energy prices are high and continue to rise; however, it's also true that Americans are working, wages are increasing, and investments are growing. That's all good news that we're not hearing enough about.

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