"Bush boom"? In today's New York Times, Louis Uchitelle provided a reality check:
The 7.2 percent growth rate is not sustainable. Nearly every forecaster concedes that. A month into the fourth quarter, the growth rate has probably fallen back to 4 percent or so. ...
...The corporate sector remains plagued with overcapacity and may require many months of 4 percent growth just to make full use of those currently working. Job creation has to move above 200,000 a month, most economists say, before we can begin to shrink the pool of nearly nine million unemployed. We haven't gotten to six-digit job creation yet, much less sustained it. No wonder the unemployed spend 19.7 months, on average, seeking work, the longest stretch in nearly 20 years.
...Of the nine million unemployed, five million were laid off or fired, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. (The remainder are new entrants or people returning to the labor force after a voluntary absence.) Most of those five million will work again, but for less pay. The bureau's wage data, from its "job displacement'' surveys done every two years, are clear on this point. Three people are laid off, and three years later only one has regained the lost wage or risen above it.
Happy days aren't here again yet.