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Your Views: Facts show that unemployment did not improve in Bush years
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Recently, Jon Richard accused The Times and Tom Crawford of being dishonest.

Certainly, I've accused The Times of worse things than that. But Mr. Richard doesn't have command of his facts.

He says unemployment was at a statistical zero for six years under Bush. If that were true, then unemployment would have been nonexistent under Clinton. In 2000, Clinton's last full year in office, the seasonally adjusted rate was 3.8 percent! Even at that low rate, more than 5.5 million men and women were out of work, hardly a statistically zero value.

In 2000, half of those workers could expect to find another job in six weeks (median weeks unemployed, per the BLS). That number rises, not falls, through the entire Bush term.

Looking at the average number of weeks unemployed paints the same picture. In 2000, average time to find another job was 12 weeks. By 2004, it is taking 19 weeks and it never falls below 16 weeks again.

In real world terms, there is no such thing as zero unemployment. There might be theoretical places where theoretical discussions can call 5 to 10 million people a nothing. I don't know of such a place.

Nor do I know of there being two recessions in 2001, one before 9/11 and another one after 9/11.

Its easy to blame the media, Crawford and the third munchkin in Oz for anything and everything. But could we have some facts to go with the powerless rants and ravings? Especially from a writer who wants to end "the ignorance that abounds in our society."

Michael Parker
Flowery Branch

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