Accuracy of Article:

Job Growth Grinds Nearly to Halt in July 2004? Labor Dept. Reports

One reason the present presidential campaign infuriates me is that we need a cold, clinical examination of the facts. Instead we get demagoguery which obfuscates them- This is true of the employment record.  Paul Pitlick forwards  a New York Times editorial "Growth Grinds Nearly to Halt in July, Labor Dept. Reports"  by David Leonhardt, from which here is an extract:

Job growth ground nearly to a halt last month, the Labor Department reported, in a new sign that the economy
has weakened in recent months. Employers added just 32,000 jobs in July, a small fraction of what forecasters had expected and the smallest gain this year. The government also announced that job growth in May and June was less than initially estimated. "It's clear that the economy is hitting a soft patch," said Richard J. DeKaser, chief economist at the National City Corporation, a bank based in Cleveland "What we're seeing is the severe impact of high oil prices." The unemployment rate fell slightly, to 5.5 percent, last month, but it is based on a smaller survey than the job growth numbers, which are widely considered the more reliable gauge of employment.

For the full text, see

Regarding employment figures in the US, Randy Black writes: "The New York Times was quick to jump on the July number, but which was later revised upwards. They did not print a retraction, of course, when the later number was doubled.  The correct number was re-stated at 73,000 jobs created in July, not 32,000. August doubled that number to about 144,000 according to the same government source.
The Labor Department said the economy created 144,000 jobs in August, the strongest reading since May and up from a revised 73,000 jobs in July. Economists surveyed by had forecast 150,000 new jobs.  The unemployment rate dipped to 5.4 from 5.5 percent in July, mainly due to a decline in the labor force, bringing the rate to its lowest since September 2001.



Ronald Hilton -