April 2, 2004

What Jobless Recovery?

I'm sure everyone can be happy about the great job growth figures for March released yesterday. Except of course for those sad partisans who would rather see the U.S. economy tank than see anything happen that could reflect positively on Bush and his economic policies of lower taxes and free trade. (Don't question their patriotism, though). Larry Kudlow examines some numbers for those of us who see good economic news as good news.

The blowout new-jobs number of 308,000 for March puts the lie to political charges by the Kerry Democrats that the U.S. is in a jobless recovery. This is the largest gain in monthly non-farm payrolls in four years...

...Even the gap between the lagging business payroll survey and the stronger household survey of all people working is beginning to narrow. The household survey appears to be more sensitive to self-employed workers who have started their own Subchapter S or LLC (limited-liability corporation) businesses. Responding to lower income-tax rates, these entrepreneurs have registered 1.8 million new jobs since the end of 2002.

The day before Friday’s big jobs announcement, a widely-followed manufacturing index published by the Institute for Supply Managers registered its highest level since the end of 1983. Every industry group, including cars, electronics, and business equipment, cited increases in new orders and production.

Despite all this, economic pessimists keep talking about the outsourcing of jobs to foreign countries as a major obstacle to employment and economic recovery. They’re dead wrong. New data from U.S. international trade accounts show that there are more foreign companies investing in the U.S. to create new jobs here at home — a process known as insourcing — than there are American firms sending jobs overseas.

Posted by dan at April 2, 2004 9:50 PM