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U.S. cities losing jobs under Bush; exception HNL

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U.S. cities losing jobs under Bush; sole exception is Honolulu

Honolulu is the only city among the top U.S. markets to have a better employment record under the current administration than it did in the Clinton years, an analysis of federal labor statistics finds.

American City Business Journals, parent company of Pacific Business News, checked numerical and percentage increase or loss of jobs each year over the past four administrations, and found that 99 or the 100 biggest cities have worse employment records under George W. Bush than they did under Bill Clinton, 79 of them have slower job growth now than under any of the previous three presidencies, and 63 had fewer jobs in 2003 than in 2000.

Statistical research often confounds political expectations, and it is interesting to note that Honolulu, with its national reputation as a Democratic stronghold, had its worst jobs performance under Bill Clinton, the only Democratic president of the four covered by the analysis.

Honolulu had cause for economic complaints during the Clinton era, but no one else really did: 99 major markets increased employment while Clinton was president, running up a total gain of 15.3 million jobs. Honolulu was the only place to suffer a drop, losing 6,100 jobs.

Honolulu's average annual percentage growth in jobs was 1.6 percent under Ronald Reagan, 2.55 percent under George Bush, a decline of 0.18 percent under Bill Clinton, and an increase of 0.62 percent under George W. Bush.

In the Reagan years, 53 of the 100 markets posted their highest average annual job growth of the four admininistrations; 38 markets did that in the Clinton years and nine under George Bush the elder; none under his son's presidency so far. But 79 markets have logged their worst average annual job growth under the current administration, compared to 18 under his father, two under Reagan and one under Clinton.

The effects of the bursting of the Japanese bubble hit in the Clinton years, a phenomenon which affected Hawaii far more than the mainland. Now, by contrast, Hawaii is escaping the worst effects of the migration of manufacturing jobs to China because the state has so little manufacturing.


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