243,000 New Jobs in February, Household Wealth Hits $52 Trillion

WASHINGTON – The Department of Labor announced today 243,000 new jobs were created in the month of February. Over the past four months, 912,000 jobs were created and average hourly earnings have increased 3.5 percent over the past year.

To date, the economy has created 4.96 million new jobs since President Bush signed into law the Jobs and Growth Tax Relief Reconciliation Act (JGTRRA) in May 2003. JGTRRA accelerated income tax rate reductions for all American taxpayers, cut the capital gains tax 25 percent, and slashed the double tax on dividends. The unemployment has dropped from 6.2 percent to 4.8 percent in this time and is dropping much faster than government forecasters initially projected following the tax cut.

“February’s job growth coupled with the expected 5 percent growth in the economy this quarter justifies cutting taxes every year,” said Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform. “But this strong growth will not continue if the President’s pro-growth agenda is not continued in the future.”

Additionally, yesterday the Federal Reserve released data in its “flow of funds” data yesterday showing household net worth increased to $52.2 trillion and is up $13 trillion since the tax cuts were enacted. Household net worth grew about 8% for the entire year of 2005, faster than the growth of the economy and incomes.

“Its time that Liberals Democrats stop bemoaning the state of our economy and work with Republicans towards enhancing our economy,” continued Norquist. “The best possible way to sustain our economic growth is to make the President’s tax cuts permanent, starting with the capital gains and dividend tax cuts. Only then will we be able to ensure this continued robust economic growth.”

ATR is strongly urging the conference committee to extend the 15% rate on capital gains and dividends in order to preserve strength in the economy.