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 Home > News & Policies > July 2004

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
July 2, 2004

Fact Sheet: Over 1.5 Million Jobs Created Since August with 10 Straight Months of Job Gains
The President's Economic Policies Continue to Drive Steady Job Growth and Strengthen the Economy

Today's Presidential Action

Today at the White House, President Bush discussed with entrepreneurs from across the country his small business agenda and his six-point plan to continue to strengthen America's economic recovery and create jobs in America. New jobs figures released today and other recent indicators show that President Bush's economic policies are working -- but there is more work to do.

The economy has posted steady job gains for each of the last ten months -- creating more than 1.5 million jobs since August. According to statistics released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), 112,000 new jobs were created in June.

  • Nearly 1.3 million jobs have been added since the beginning of the year.
  • The national unemployment rate stayed constant at 5.6% in June -- down 0.7 percentage point from a peak of 6.3% a year ago. At 5.6%, the unemployment rate is below the average of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
  • Employment over the last year was up in 44 of the 50 states and the unemployment rate was down in all regions and in 46 of the 50 states.
  • National manufacturing employment is up by 64,000 jobs since its low in January. The ISM Manufacturing survey's employment index reached a 30-year high in May and remained strong in June, indicating further gains in manufacturing employment.
  • The household survey shows a similar increase in jobs, up 1.7 million since August.
  • Unemployment rates have fallen across all levels of education, races, and ages over the past year.
  • For people without a college degree, the unemployment rate is down by 0.7 percentage point.
  • For both African-Americans and Latinos, the unemployment rate is down by 1.5 percentage points.
  • For teenagers, the unemployment rate is down by 2.2 percentage points.

Background: President Bush's Actions are Driving Our Economy Forward -- Now is Not the Time to Turn Back

President Bush's economic policies are working. The economy is strong and growing stronger. Factories are busier, families are earning more, homeownership remains at record levels, and people are finding work.

  • Economic growth since last summer has been the fastest in nearly 20 years. The American economy grew at a strong annual pace of 3.9 percent during the first quarter of 2004 -- above the historical average, and continuing the strong growth seen over the previous two quarters.
  • America's standard of living is on the rise. Real after-tax incomes are up by 11% since December 2000 -- substantially better than the gains following the last recession. Since the President's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, personal consumption levels have risen significantly.
  • Retail sales other than motor vehicles in the first quarter of 2004 increased 11.8 percent, more than double the average annual rate of growth over the last decade.
  • Consumer confidence is at its highest level in 2 years. The Conference Board's index of consumer confidence increased over 18 index points in the past 12 months, from 83.5 last June to 101.9 this June.
  • New housing construction in May remains at levels near those of December 2003, when they were at their highest in almost 20 years.
  • The national homeownership rate, in the first quarter of 2004, remained at the record high of 68.6 percent set in the previous quarter.
  • Minority homeownership set a new quarterly record of 50.8 percent in the first quarter, up 0.2 percentage point from the fourth quarter and up 1.5 percentage points from the first quarter of 2003.
  • Inflation remains low by historical standards, with the core CPI (Consumer Price Index) and the core finished-goods PPI (Producer Price Index) both rising only 1.7 percent over the last 12 months.
  • Mortgage rates remain near historic lows, making homebuying easier and more affordable.
  • 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.
  • State tax revenue grew by 8.1 percent over the four quarters ending in March 2004, with nearly all of it attributable to the improving economy rather than to increased taxes -- fully 7.1 percent of the revenue gains reflected the economic recovery. This is the best four-quarter growth rate in nearly 4 years.
  • Manufacturers have been reporting increased activity and new orders more than at any time in the last 20 years.
  • From its low in mid 2002, the stock market is up about 40% and the NASDAQ is up almost 70%.

Many Americans are working hard to make ends meet. We must continue to push forward on a pro-growth economic agenda that meets the needs of the American people.

  • Making tax relief permanent -- raising taxes now would put the brakes on our growing economy.
  • Providing worker skills -- preparing Americans for the skilled jobs our economy will create in the years to come.
  • Controlling health care costs -- giving America's working families greater access to affordable health insurance by providing association health plans and health savings accounts.
  • Reducing regulation -- ensuring that Federal regulations do not unduly handicap America's entrepreneurs by streamlining regulations and reducing paperwork.
  • Reducing frivolous lawsuits -- supporting enactment of medical liability reform, class action lawsuit reforms, and asbestos litigation reforms to expedite resolutions and curb the costs lawsuits impose on American businesses.
  • Adopting a National Energy Policy (NEP) -- ensuring that America has a reliable and affordable source of energy and reducing our dependence on foreign sources.
  • Opening new markets overseas -- helping to create jobs at home by expanding markets for America's products and services around the world.