Posted on June 4, 2004
WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Bill Frist (R-TN) and Lamar Alexander (R-TN) today made the following statements in response to figures released by the Labor Department reflecting the addition of 248,000 new jobs to business payrolls: "Today's Labor Department report shows the economy continues to grow beyond expectations," said Frist. "With 248,000 jobs created in May and more than 1.1 million new jobs created so far this year, this is great news for the nation and Tennessee, and further proof that the president's pro-growth policies are working. Since August 2003, payrolls have risen by 1.4 million jobs. The economy added 32,000 manufacturing jobs in May alone. I'm pleased with the rapid economic recovery we've seen in recent months, and, as we move forward, I will continue to work diligently with my Senate colleagues to further support policies that encourage job growth." "The fact that 248,000 new jobs were created in May is further evidence that the U.S. economy is back on its feet," Alexander said. "President Bush's jobs and growth plan helped bring about the turnaround. In Tennessee, the unemployment rate was 4.9 percent for April compared to 6.1 percent for November 2003. Manufacturing jobs continue to rise, which will help Tennesseans. Our state has 900 auto parts suppliers and 150,000 good-paying auto manufacturing jobs. This is welcome news for Tennessee and the entire country." The economy has posted steady job gains for each of the last nine months — with nearly one million new jobs in the last three months alone. Additional growth statistics for this year include: -An average of over 257,000 jobs per month has been created since the beginning of this year; -The Labor Department's household survey shows a similar increase in jobs, up 1.5 million since August; -The national unemployment rate stayed constant at 5.6 percent in May down 0.7 percentage point from a peak of 6.3 percent in June 2003. At 5.6 percent, the unemployment rate is below the average of the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s; -Employment over the last year was up in 44 of the 50 states and the unemployment rate was down in all regions and in 47 of the 50 states; -National manufacturing employment increased 32,000 in May, and was revised upward by 22,000 jobs for March and April. Manufacturing employment has risen for four consecutive months. The ISM Manufacturing survey shows similar strength in manufacturing employment, reaching a 30-year high in May.