According to the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers, there will be 46,000 more Americans added to the already unfathomable list of 23 million others who are out of work as of today. The number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time rose to its highest level in four months to an unacceptable number of 388,000.
It appeared that after last week's report - which moved the unemployment rate below 8 percent for the first time in 43 months, the economy was indeed heading in the right direction. But upon further scrutiny, it was learned that the state of California had mysteriously been left off the count and so the low number was reported. With the presidential debate looming only a couple of days away, the administration ran with these incomplete and misleading numbers anyway and told everyone that the economy was headed in the right direction.
Aside from trying to blame the George Bush administration for the fiscal mess he says he inherited, I'd like to know what he will say for the next few days after digesting these latest numbers.The great Ronald Reagan inherited a much worse mess from Jimmy Carter - 15% inflation, 20% interest rates & unemployment that peaked at 10.8%, but yet he never complained. Instead he put his feet to the coals and went to work. At the end of his second term, he had the unemployment rate down to 5.3% and created well over 20 million new jobs. Do you think that with this President's current fiscal policies we will get anywhere near that type of growth in the next 4 years?
In a separate bit of news related to the president's claim that he is for equal pay for women for equal work, it appears that the president falls short on his claims and does not practice what he preaches. In a recent internal investigation on the pay scales of employees at the White House, women had a median income of $61,000 per year which is 18 percent less than the median income for males working in the White House.
These numbers by themselves are troubling for an administration that claims there is a "War on Women" being waged by Republicans. But the bigger issue clearly remains the high unemployment rate and the number of women who have lost their jobs since this president took office. Today there are 600,000 fewer women in the workforce than when the president took office and today's disappointing jobless claims numbers will continue to hurt families and women in the pocketbook.
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