Monday, April 04, 2005

The Economy

According to the New York Times the job creations numbers were way down this last month. Which is depressing. But it hides the real costs of the Bush economy.
The longer-term trend is even more disturbing than the monthly snapshot. In 6 of the last 12 months, job creation has not been strong enough to absorb the growth of the work force. In such a weak labor market, wages are stagnant or falling. Over the past year, for instance, hourly wage increases averaged only 2.6 percent for the 80 percent of the work force made up of non-managers in both white- and blue-collar jobs. The inflation rate for the same period has not yet been released, but it's a safe call that in March, wages failed to outpace price increases, as has happened every month since last May. That adds up to only one thing: a downturn in living standards, which will accelerate as oil prices, now well above $50 a barrel, consume an ever larger chunk of take-home pay.
Kind of depressing, but that's what we get, I suppose.

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