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June 02, 2004

Economic Forecast: Sunny With a 85% Chance of Cowbell

"Over 200,000" new jobs created this past May, according to economists:

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. employment likely surged again in May, analysts said on Wednesday, cementing expectations the Federal Reserve (news - web sites) will raise interest rates this month and buoying President Bush (news - web sites)'s election hopes.

Economists believe more than 200,000 jobs were created last month, building on the 625,000 added in March and April, as employers geared up to meet robust demand after three long years of layoffs and tepid hiring.

375,000 is an awful lot of jobs, but by gum, it sure would be nice to be able to say "one million jobs in three months."

While the roaring employment gains in March and April surprised most observers, who had been disappointed by the slow recovery from the 2001 recession, analysts have been quick to embrace the new rosier jobs outlook.

"I'm swinging for the fence this week," said ClearView Economics president Ken Mayland, predicting 300,000 jobs were created last month. "There's just every indication that the labor market is improving very dramatically."

Swing, baby.

Can I get a 375,000?


Just 300,000?

Damn your conservative estimate, Mr. Mayland.

The Labor Department (news - web sites)'s closely watched payrolls report, due on Friday, is expected to show 216,000 new jobs in May, according to a Reuters survey of economists.

They've lowballed in estimating the last three months' jobs growth. They might have finally caught up. But maybe not.


Economists said while job growth below 125,000 could erode market confidence in the hiring rebound, some moderation of growth after March and April is expected. Forecasts in the Reuters survey of 24 analysts ranged from 140,000 to 300,000 new jobs.

The boost in hiring has brightened the campaign trail for Republicans, but with 1.5 million jobs gone since Bush took office, 250,000 would need to be created every month until the November election to erase that deficit.

Difficult to do, yes. Especially since everytime I turn around they up the number of jobs Bush supposedly "lost," despite the fact that he's been adding jobs to the economy for half a year.

Small cowbell, because no one should count their cowbells before they're hostaed:

Now That's Good Bias Update: Only tangentially relevant, but this asinine piece from the liberal advocacy journal Newsweek reeks with partisan bias.

Basically, this idiot lays out four scenarios for the upcoming election. In two, Bush loses. Fine.

In one, Bush wins only because of Nader.

And in the other, Bush wins only because he incompetently allows Al Qaeda to strike us again, which drives the moronic masses to vote for him.

Apparently there's no conceivable scenario, according to Newsweek, where Bush wins re-election because the economy is booming and Iraq is fairly stable, or because John Kerry is judged to be too liberal for the voting public.

Can't happen.

He announces his "four plausible" scenarios, and then gives us a reverse-Gore scenario in which Bush wins the popular vote but loses the electoral college. Presumably, that is more "plausible" than the public simply preferring Bush over Kerry.

Don't bother clicking on the link. It's not worth reading.

Cowbell Update: No fan of the cowbell can afford to miss Son of Nixon's exhaustive set of cowbell links.

Including an interview with the guy who actually played the cowbell on Blue Oyster Cult's Don't Fear the Reaper. No, his name's not Gene Frankel, and he's not dead.

But he is a big fan of the sketch. Here's a sample:

"It was completely fiction," Bloom said, laughing, "but that's what kind of made it bizarre. They made it all up. Funny thing is, the actor who plays the cowbell guy - Will Ferrell - he's got a name at the end and it says he died. I've had people come up to me and ask, 'What happened to that guy who died?' I'm like, 'Uh, there was no guy that died. It was all fiction from beginning to end.' And Bruce Dickinson is a real guy, but he has nothing to do with 'Don't Fear (The Reaper).' He works for Sony and he's in charge of the production and remastering of all our old albums. He had nothing to do with the original 1976 'Don't Fear (The Reaper).'

"Of course now, every time somebody talks to Bruce on the phone, they say, 'Is this superstar record producer Bruce Dickinson?' "

And Yet the Updates Continue: CEO's agree: Economy strengthening. Survey says 38% of CEO's expect to add workers; only 19% anticipate shedding workers.

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posted by Ace at 04:45 PM

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