The Spark

“The emancipation of the working class will only be achieved by the working class itself.” — Karl Marx

Hiding reality behind the numbers

Jan 10, 2005

The Labor Department announced that 157,000 jobs were created in December, with 2.2 million added for all of 2004. Bush, practically cheering, proclaimed that the economy did its "best in five years."

Maybe – but they were a lousy five years. In fact, what the numbers really show is a bad job market. It took the U.S. economy almost three years to replace the two million jobs that were lost in 11 months of recession. Since the recession began, the adult population grew by about four million. At least another two million jobs are needed if all these adults are to even enter the work force. And the employment picture remains worse for key parts of the work force: people aged 34 to 55 and manufacturing workers.

According to The New York Times, economists are predicting even slower economic growth and fewer jobs created in 2005 than in 2004.

For working people, there's nothing to cheer about.