Bush overlooks slowing job growth
The president praises lower than expected jobless figures but disregards reports of slowing job creation.
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- President Bush touted lower than expected jobless numbers issued today for September but ignored lackluster job creation during the same month by citing longer-term numbers showing net job growth.
"Our economy is strong," Bush said. "I say that because today we got more good news: The national unemployment rate is down to 4.6 percent."
A Labor Department report states that the national unemployment rate fell in September to 4.6 percent, besting a forecast by economists that the rate would stay at the 4.7 percent level reported for August.
The unemployment rate is based on a survey of households rather the employer survey used to calculate the payroll number.
Bush ignored another report issued Friday showing that U.S. payrolls grew by just 51,000 jobs in September, down from the revised 188,000-job gain in August.
"We have added 6.6 million new jobs since August of 2003," Bush said.
"Wages are going up, energy prices are falling, which means people are going to have more money in their pocket to save, invest or spend."
Economists surveyed by Briefing.com had forecast a gain of 120,000 jobs.
The Labor Department report included a larger than normal revision of the August number, which was originally reported as a 128,000-job gain.
The extra 60,000 jobs added that month, when coupled with the weak gain reported for September, was close to the forecasts, seeming to calm U.S. markets, which were little changed from before the report.
After a meeting with entrepreneurs Friday morning at a FedEx (down $0.31 to $112.62, Charts) facility in Washington, Bush said his approach to governance supports the risk-taking spirit of business founders.
"I will tell you that it does my spirits good to talk to risk-takers and dreamers and doers," Bush said. "One of the jobs of government is to make sure the entrepreneurial spirit is strong by creating an environment that encourages entrepreneurship."
Bush said one way to sustain economic growth is to make the tax cuts passed during his term permanent.
"One sure way to hurt this economy is to take money out of the pockets of consumers or small-business owners and send it to Washington, D.C.," he said.