New job figures and other recent indicators show that America's economy is strong and
getting stronger, and that the President's jobs and growth plan is working. In total, over 1.1 million jobs
have been added since August, with 8 consecutive months of gains.
April's increase in employment remained strong and well in excess of market expectations. 288
,000 net new jobs were created in April . and February and March increases were revised upward, for a combined upward
revision of 66,000.
The household survey showed a similar increase in employment, up 1.3 million since August.
The national unemployment rate edged down to 5.6% in April . falling 0.7 percentage points from its peak of
6.3% in June 2003. At 5.6%, the unemployment rate is below the average of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
Manufacturing employment increased 21,000 in April, and was revised up for February and March. Manufacturing
employment has risen for three consecutive months. These were the first gains in this sector since July of 2000.
Over the past year, the unemployment rate has fallen in 44 of the 50 states.
Weekly unemployment insurance claims have fallen to their lowest level since 2000.
President Bush's Actions Are Helping to Drive Our Economic Recovery
The President's Jobs and Growth tax relief package helped drive the strong improvement in our economy. It
raised the level of economic activity and productivity, which will result in higher incomes and living standards for
American workers. Recently released data confirm that the economy is strong and growing stronger:
The American economy grew at a strong annual pace of 4.2 percent during the first quarter of 2004 .
well above the historical average, and continuing the strong growth seen over the
previous two quarters. Economic growth over the last three quarters has been the fastest in nearly 20 years,
at a 5.5 percent annual rate that would double the real size of the economy in 13 years. The President's policies have
helped propel the recovery forward, putting more money in the pockets of America 's families and laying a foundation
for growth and job creation now and for years to come.
Household spending continues to be strong. As a result of the President's 2001 and 2003 tax
cuts, personal consumption levels have risen significantly. Real after-tax incomes are up by 10%
since December 2000 . substantially better than those following the last recession.
Retail sales other than motor vehicles in the first quarter of 2004 increased 11.6
percent, more than double the average annual rate of growth over the last decade.
Consumer confidence is at its highest level in 3 months and is rising. The Conference
Board said its index of consumer confidence increased 4.4 points to 92.9 in April, from 88.5 in March.
New housing construction in March surged to levels near those of December 2003, when they
were at their highest levels in almost 20 years.
In the first quarter of 2004, the national homeownership rate reached a record high of
68.6 percent, beating the record set in the previous quarter.
Minority homeownership set a new quarterly record of 50.8 percent in the first quarter,
up 0.2 percentage points from the fourth quarter and up 1.5 percentage points from the first quarter of 2003.
Inflation remains restrained, with the core CPI (Consumer Price Index) rising only 1.6
percent and the core finished-goods PPI (Producer Price Index) rising only 0.7 percent over the last 12 months.
Mortgage rates remain near historic lows, making homebuying easier and more affordable.
American companies are reporting historic levels of growth.
Productivity grew from 2000 to 2003 at the fastest 3-year rate in more than 50 years. This
has bolstered profits and will lead to significantly higher real wages for workers.
More manufacturers have been reporting increased activity and new orders than at any time
in the last 20 years. The ISM Manufacturing employment index in April was at its highest level since
The President's jobs and growth policies have put the economy on the road to recovery.but there is more
work to be done. The President has outlined a six-point plan to create even more job opportunities for America
's workers and keep America the best place in the world to do business. The plan includes: enabling families and
businesses to plan for the future with confidence by making tax reductions permanent; making health care costs more
affordable and predictable; reducing the burden of lawsuits on our economy; ensuring an affordable, reliable energy
supply; streamlining regulations and paperwork requirements; and opening new markets for American products and
America has a choice: It can continue to grow the economy and create new jobs as the President's policies
are doing; or it can raise taxes on American families and small businesses, hurting economic recovery and future job
creation. A pro-growth agenda, strong education system, and help for American workers to gain the skills to
secure good jobs are the right ways to respond to the challenges of our growing and changing economy.