The Unrecognizable Recovery
BOB HERBERT
The Unrecognizable Recovery
Mon Mar 8 11:46:27 2004
67.1.139.170

The Unrecognizable Recovery

By BOB HERBERT

Published: March 8, 2004

The Bush crowd couldn't have been more pleased with the timing of the Martha
Stewart verdict on Friday afternoon.

The big news heading into the weekend was almost guaranteed to be the awful
jobs report released by the Labor Department Friday morning. The White House
needed a world-class distraction and the Stewart jury, eager to wrap things
up before the weekend, obliged. It strolled in, as if on cue, with a verdict
of guilty on all counts. Distractions don't get much bigger.

The Labor Department report was as grim as faces on a bread line. Despite
all the president's promises, the economy added just 21,000 jobs last month.
No jobs were added by the private sector. The 21,000 additional jobs were
all government hires.

The report also showed that job growth in December and January was worse
than previously believed. The January tally was revised from 112,000 to
97,000. The December count dropped from 16,000 to a pathetic 8,000.

A number of demographic groups are getting absolutely hammered. A new study
by Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at
Northeastern University, found historic lows in the reported labor force
participation of 16- to 19-year-olds. According to the study, "The estimated
36.8 percent employment rate for the nation's teens was the lowest ever
recorded since 1948."...."

http://www.nytimes.com/2004/03/08/opinion/08HERB.html?hp 



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