Welcome to "Ask the White House" -- an online interactive forum where you can submit questions to Administration officials and friends of the White House. Visit the "Ask the White House" archives to read other discussions with White House officials.
June 18, 2004
Good to be here. Let's take your questions.
Alex, from Fairbanks writes:
Due in large part to the tax cuts, after-tax take home pay (disposable income) over the past year has grown 6.3%. When adjusted for inflation, after-tax take home pay grew faster than the 1990s, 1980s, or the 1970s.
The results have been impressive, with 1.4 million new jobs since August and employment growing by over a quarter of a million jobs per month so far this year. Youll be happy to know the economy is back.
Richard, from Michigan writes:
Since the beginning of 2001, after-tax take home pay has grown 11%. So far this year, it has grown 7.8% at an annual rate.
Also, real wages have been growing especially the broader measure real hourly compensation that includes employer contributions to employee benefit plans.
In fact, over the past year it has grown 4.6% over twice as fast as in the 1990s and four times as fast as the 1980s.
JA, from Butte, Montana writes:
When the President took office, the country was headed into a recession. Then, nearly one million jobs were lost in the three months following the terrorist attacks of September 11th.
Corporate scandals continued to slow the recovery and the uncertainties created from fighting the war on terror in Afghanistan and Iraq also slowed the recovery.
But the President acted decisively to bring us back from recession to recovery. His tax relief package has helped create the strongest economic growth in nearly two decades.
More than a quarter of a million jobs per month have been created so far this year and more than 1.4 million jobs have been added since August, with 9 consecutive months of gains.
The national employment rate stood at 5.6% in May, which is below the peak of 6.3% in June 2003 and below the average of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s. There is still more work to do. We wont be satisfied until you and everyone else who wants a job has a job.
In addition, the President is committed to helping displaced workers. His 2005 budget proposes more than $20 billion for job training and employment assistance. He is also proposing hundreds of millions of dollars to go toward an initiative that will help prepare workers for the jobs that are in demand now and in the future.
Sheya, from New York writes:
Inflation, interest rates and mortgage rates are at near historic lows. Take home pay for American workers is growing. So is business investment. Exports are strong. Small businesses are confident. Retail sales have rebounded.
And in the best measure of confidence, home ownership is at an all time high. Our economy is strong and growing stronger.
As I mentioned earlier, nearly one and a half million jobs have been created since August. And this is broad-based job creation, in virtually every sector, including traditionally high-paying sectors such as information, construction, financial activities, and professional and business services.
Real disposable personal income the amount of money Americans have in their pocket has increased 11% since the President took office. And total compensation wages and benefits has increased nearly 4% during the last year.
Eric, from Massachusetts writes:
First, we need to ensure that America remains the best place to do business by creating conditions for American companies to compete and outperform the world.
By doing this, we also help attract foreign companies to set up shop in the United States and employ Americans. Currently, 6.4 million Americans work for U.S. subsidiaries of foreign corporations. We also need to commit significant resources to help displaced workers find jobs.
The Presidents 2005 budget proposes $23 billion for job training and employment assistance. The President has also proposed more than $500 million for his new Jobs for the 21st Century Initiative to prepare U.S. workers to take advantage of the better skilled, higher paying jobs of the future.
Leslie, from Boston writes:
The economic trends are headed in the right direction. Most of the jobs created have been in the services sector, which added 176,000 new jobs in May.
Companies are beginning to bet again on American workers. The economic growth we are seeing will help you and your friends create the opportunities to find the jobs you are looking for.
Tom, from Hickory, NC writes:
Im happy to tell you that things are turning around. 1.4 million new jobs were created since last August with nearly 1 million created in the last 100 days. Overall, employment over the last year was up in 44 of the 50 states and the unemployment rate was down in all regions and in 47 of the 50 states.
The Manpower employment survey out this week finds the employer-hiring outlook continues to be favorable, indicating that recent months of strong job creation should continue into the second half of 2004.
The recovery is being felt in many parts of our manufacturing sector. Things are moving in the right direction. One reliable manufacturing survey, the ISM index, has been above 50 which indicates expansion for the last year.
For the last seven months, it has surpassed even that and been above 60. In fact, the ISMs employment measure reached its highest rating in over 30 years. Our manufacturers have seen job growth for four consecutive months. Thats pretty good news.
The Bush Administration remains committed to aiding American manufacturing workers. Earlier this week I appointed eleven U.S. business leaders to the Bush Administrations Manufacturing Council to advocate, coordinate and implement policies that will help U.S. manufacturers grow jobs.
Bethany, from Atlanta writes:
With education, workers can be more productive. And when these students enter the workforce, theyll enter into an economy that is strong and becoming stronger.
Today, we employ more Americans than ever before 138.8 million Americans are employed in this country. President Bushs economic policies are working. Factories are busier, families are earning more, homeownership continues to rise, and people are finding work.
DM, from Texas writes:
We are seeing new jobs in every industry sector, including new jobs in high paying industries such as construction, education and professional services.
Whats more, job creation is being felt across the country as job growth has accelerated over the past year in 44 out of the 50 states and unemployment rates have fallen in 45 of the 50 states as well.
You also mentioned government payrolls. The President and his team are proud to be limiting the size of government and doing all we can to unleash the power of the private sector. Job growth from the August 2003 low, has occurred in private non-farm industry. Government payrolls have actually declined by 33,000.