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 Home > News & Policies > September 2004

For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 3, 2004

Fact Sheet: Economy Shows 12 Straight Months of Job Gains

Unemployment Rate Falls to 5.4% – Lowest Since October 2001
144,000 New Jobs Added in August; June and July Revised Upward 59,000
Nearly 1.7 Million New Jobs Added Since August 2003

  • New jobs figures released on September 3, 2004 and other recent indicators show that President Bush's economic policies continue to create jobs and move the economy forward.
  • The economy has posted job gains for each of the last twelve months – creating nearly 1.7 million jobs since August 2003.
    • The national unemployment fell to 5.4% in August – down 0.9 percentage point from a peak of 6.3% in June 2003 and the lowest rate since October 2001. At 5.4%, the unemployment rate is below the average of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s.
    • 144,000 new jobs were added in August. And the increases in June and July were revised upward by a combined 59,000 new jobs , bringing the total number of new jobs in today's report to 203,000.
    • Nearly 1.7 million new jobs have been added since August 2003.
    • The unemployment rate over the last year was down in all regions and in 49 of the 50 states. Employment over the last year was up in 46 of the 50 states.
    • The manufacturing sector, which was the hardest hit by the economic downturn, has added 107,000 jobs since January.

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

  • The labor market has improved considerably since shortly after the President's Jobs and Growth bill took effect last May. Factories are busier, families are earning more, homeownership remains at record levels, and people are returning to the labor market and finding work.
    • America 's standard of living is on the rise. Real after-tax incomes are up by nearly 10% since December 2000 – substantially better than the comparable time period in the previous business cycle. Since the President's 2001 and 2003 tax cuts, personal consumption levels have risen substantially.
    • Consumer confidence continues to be substantially higher than last year. The Conference Board's index of consumer confidence has increased 20 percent in the past 12 months, from 81.7 last August to 98.2 this August.
    • The national homeownership rate, in the second quarter of 2004, was at an all time high of 69.2 percent. Minority homeownership set a new record of 51% in the second quarter and is up 2.1 percentage points from a year ago.
    • Core inflation remains low.
    • Mortgage rates remain near historic lows, making homebuying easier and more affordable.

More to Do: The President will not be satisfied until every American looking for work has found a job. 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. The across - the - board rate reduction helped more than 90% of small business owners who pay their business taxes at the individual rates, including more than 900,000 small business owners who pay in the top two rates.
  • Providing worker skills – preparing Americans for the skilled jobs of our changing economy.
  • 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 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 the National Energy Policy – 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.

President Bush is bringing our economy back. We need to keep moving forward with the policies that are strengthening our economic recovery.

The President has acted decisively to bring us back from recession to recovery. He has:

  • Enacted tax relief for families by lowering tax rates for all taxpayers, increasing the child credit, and reducing the marriage penalty.
  • Phased out the death tax, helping to preserve family farms and businesses.
  • Encouraged business growth by providing incentives for small businesses to invest.
  • Made the stock market stronger by cutting taxes on dividends and capital gains.
  • Passed the strongest corporate governance reforms since FDR was President.
  • Proposed his Jobs for the 21 st Century initiative to improve education for high school students and train workers for industries creating the most new jobs.