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Bennett: U.S. Returning to Period of Strong Growth

Bennett: U.S. Returning to Period of Strong Growth

Washington, DC—Senator Bob Bennett, Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee (JEC), held a hearing today on the October employment situation as reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Senator Bennett welcomed BLS Commissioner Kathleen Utgoff to explain last month’s employment numbers.

“Like virtually every other economic statistic reported in the past month, the employment numbers released today are definitely good news for the American worker,” said Chairman Bennett. “No matter how you cut it, the economy is adding new jobs at a rapid pace and will likely continue to do so for the foreseeable future.”

The BLS uses two distinct surveys to measure the number of jobs in America, a payroll survey that measures the number of people employers have on their payrolls and a household survey that measures the number of individuals who report being employed.

The official payroll statistics indicate that the U.S. economy created 126,000 new jobs in the month of October, the third month in a row that payroll employment rose. The revised numbers now indicate that 125,000 jobs were added in September. The unemployment rate declined to six percent.

The household survey reported that employment increased by an impressive 441,000 in September. According to the household survey, our economy has now essentially replaced all of the jobs lost during the 2001 recession and the number of jobs is now at an all-time high.

Today’s employment report from the BLS shows a broadening of the disparity between the payroll and household employment surveys. While the payroll survey reports a decline of roughly 750,000 payroll jobs since the end of the recession in November 2001, the household survey still reports nearly one and a half million newly employed workers since then. Bennett questioned Commissioner Utgoff about the ongoing divergence in the two employments surveys, and urged that the Bureau look further into this disparity and its methodology for gathering data for these surveys.

“I believe that today’s employment numbers, along with the steep drop in new jobless claims and the large increases in productivity and output, indicate quite clearly that the U.S. economy is returning to a period of strong growth,” said Bennett.

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