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Employment Participation Rate -0.5% in Feb. '07, Workforce Increase 6.3M in 43 Mos.  :  Published March 2007 All Rights Reserved


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Employment Participation Rate -0.5% in Feb. '07, Workforce Increase 6.3M in 43 Mos.

President George W Bush praised job creation in the United States during his leadership the week ending 16 March 2007. He said some 7.5 million jobs had been created since August 2003 --through February 2007-- however, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not reflect the same figures.

During February 2007 there were 97,000 new hires across a civilian work force of 152 million. The civilian labor force in August 2003 was 146.967 million. The participation rate for the same timeframe has fallen from 66.3 percent to 65.8 percent. Those employed rose from 138.137 million in August 2003 to 144.479 in February 2007 (net increase of 6.342 million.)  The number of unemployed totaled 8.830 million in August 2003 and in February 2007 the total was 7.45 million, according to BLS. Those who currently want a job stands at 4.635 million, down from 5.03 million in August 2003.

While the official unemployment rate stood at 4.5 percent in February 2007, BLS reported in a separate study that the total unemployment rate, (which included marginally attached and those part timers for economic reasons) stood at 8.7 percent, down from 9 percent in February 2006. Marginally attached workers are those who indicate they want work, but do not hold a job, and includes discouraged workers who have experienced long-term layoffs. Those employed part-time for economic reasons are simply those who have settled for part-time work while attempting to get back into a full-time job after layoff.

The employment population ratio was flat across the past 43 months at 62.6 percent. The services sector (mostly hospitality) has experienced the highest rate of job creation during the past three years according to BLS.

"Our economy has now added jobs for 42 straight months, and the unemployment rate remains low at 4.5 percent," President Bush said.

The president added that wages have grown much faster during his presidency than during the 1990s, "and it means an extra $1,279 in the past year for the typical family with two wage earners," he said.

Real after-tax income per person rose 10 percent, the president added, or more than $2,900 since President Bush took office. "The economy has now experienced over five years of uninterrupted growth averaging 3 percent a year since 2001," the president said.

President Bush also added that his tax relief plan has helped drive up the Dow Industrial Average by 40 percent, and the NASDAQ is up more than 55 percent under his economic watch.

Using the latest figures, President Bush urged Congress to break-down barriers in order to sell more manufactured goods from the United States outside the country's borders. "Global trade talks like the Doha Round at the World Trade Organization have the potential to level the playing field so America can compete on fair terms in foreign markets, while helping lift millions of people out of poverty around the world," the president said.

The president has also proposed reforming the tax code with a standard deduction for every citizen who buys health insurance, whether they pay for it through their employer or on their own. His proposal also "taps the innovation of states" in making basic, affordable insurance available to all by creating "Affordable Choices" grants to redirect institutional subsidies to help ensure the poor and hard-to-insure have access to private health insurance.


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