The monthly employment figures were released this morning by the Labor Department, and once again showed better than expected growth. While expectations were for payrolls to increase by around 175,000, the actual increase was actually 288,000. In addition, last month's surprisingly strong number was revised higher, from 308,000 to 337,000. This is now eight straight months of increases, with 867,000 jobs created so far this year. At the beginning of the year, the Administration predicted increase of around 2 million for the year and was roundly criticized and ridiculed for such rosy predictions. It now appears that at the present rate, this number is very achievable. And as predicted, the payroll numbers started growing significantly exactly one year after the last of the Fed rate decreases. In addition, the deficit, a fairly meaningless number but one that is politically important, has already been revised down by more than $100 Billion because of the economic growth
This is all fairly bad news for Kerry and the Democrats. The "jobless recovery" is no longer jobless, and Bush's economic policies seem to be working. The events in Iraq don't seem to be helping Kerry either, as I mentioned in an earlier post. At this point in the campaign the Democrats' line has been that despite the $50 million that the Administration has spent in campaign ads, Bush's standing has not improved and Kerry is still even. This is simply not true. If one looks at the poll numbers
before the Bush campaign's ads, one sees that Kerry was leading by 5-8% and as much as 12% in one CNN/USA Today poll. Now Bush is consistently ahead by 3-5%. While this is still within the margin of error, the trend is definitely in Bush's favor.