|Here are some updates to my dreaded economic charts.
As promised, I’ve been tracking the Bush promise to create millions of new jobs in 2004 (blue line) against the actual pathetic US employment results (red line) since the start of his regime. Last month, employment ‘growth’ was 96,000 jobs, less than 2/3 the increase in the monthly labour force. Bush hence becomes the first president to preside over a net decrease in jobs during his administration since the great depression.
For comparison against a fiscally and socially responsible regime, the Canadian employment trends over the same period, shown at 1/9 scale, are superimposed (yellow line). Over the last four years, both Canadian labour force and Canadian employment have risen by about 1 million (7%). What’s more, this entire increase has been in full-time employment (which Canada tracks separately), whereas the US figures are inflated by a disproportionate number of part-time jobs. Before you come up here looking for a job, I should tell you that the employment situation in Canada remains unsatisfactory — far too much of the country’s employment is low-skill work, or dependent on the exploitation of increasingly depleted non-renewable resources, or dependent on a cheap Canadian dollar, making Canadian products artificially inexpensive. The situation for job-seekers in the US, where the situation is much worse, must be absolutely dreadful.
Why doesn’t the US unemployment rate (which is nominally still lower than Canada’s) reflect this crisis? Because Americans in staggering numbers are giving up looking, and these discouraged workers are not counted as unemployed. To be counted as unemployed you have to have ‘actively searched’ for work in the past month.