Economy and Jobs Watch: The Lost Years -- by the Numbers

Over the past 4 years there has been a dramatic shift in the nation's fiscal policy. Has the new strategy worked? The numbers indicate it has not.


January 2001: 132,388,000
August 2004: 131,475,000
          Decline of 913,000

Note: Data seasonally adjusted.
Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Real Gross Domestic Product:

2001 Q1: $9,875 billion
2004 Q2: 10,784 billion
          Average annual increase 2.6%*

*Over the same period in his term, President Jimmy Carter had a better growth rate (2.9%).
Source: Bureau of Economic Analysis.


Stock Market -- Dow Jones Average:

Jan. 2, 2001: 10,646
Oct. 1, 2004: 10,193
          Decline: 4.3%*

* The poor stock market performance over the past several years cannot be explained simply by pointing to the events on 9/11. The Dow Jones Average on Sept. 10, 2001 was 9,431. When the market reopened on the 17th, the Dow fell 675 points by the close of the day. Less than 2 months later, the Dow had already recovered all of its ground and more, and by the end of that year it reached 10,000.

Source: Yahoo! Finance


Fiscal year 2000: +$236 billion -- Surplus
Fiscal year 2004: - $422 billion -- Deficit
          Decline of $658 billion

Source: OMB and Congressional Budget Office

Poverty Rate

2000: 11.3%
2003: 12.5%
          Increase 1.2 percentage points

Source: Census Bureau

Median Household Income (in inflation adjusted 2003 dollars)

2000: $44,853
2003: $43,318
          Decline $1,535

Source: Census Bureau

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