April 07, 2006

Crapo: Economy Continues Strong Growth

Idahoans benefit from March 2006 steady job gains, pro-growth tax policy

Washington, DC â?? Figures released today by the Department of Treasury demonstrate that Idahoans are benefiting from the strong economic growth in the country, according to Idaho Senator Mike Crapo. The Bureau of Labor Statistics released its monthly employment report today, citing a drop in the unemployment rate from 4.8% to 4.7% in March, which is its lowest mark in more than four years. In Idaho, the unemployment rate is one of the lowest in the country at 3.4% for February, the most recent figures available. Additionally, 211,000 new payroll jobs were created during the month and the average hourly earnings inched up slightly to $16.49, seasonally adjusted. In the past year, payroll employment has increased by 2.1 million; average hourly earnings, by 3.4 percent; and average weekly earnings, by 3.7 percent.â??Not only are many Idahoans saving money through lower taxes, but we are also experiencing one of the longest periods of uninterrupted job growth,â?? Crapo said. â??While the economic news continues to be good, we need to focus on keeping this strength. Many of the tax cuts that are now benefiting Idahoans and Americans are due to sunset within the next few years. If that happens, the positive economic outlook will turn around and we will see a dramatic increase in taxes. Our economy is stronger today because of the timely tax relief measures enacted since 2001, and the numbers released today provide ample evidence that the benefits are being felt by millions of Americans.â??Using figures from tax returns filed in 2004, the Department of Treasury estimates that:â?¢474,000 taxpayers in Idaho will have lower income tax bills due to legislation enacted within the last Congress.â?¢418,000 Idaho taxpayers will benefit from the new 10-percent bracket enacted in 2001 and expanded in 2003.â?¢Just over 80,000 taxpayers in the state in brackets above 15-percent will be paying less in income taxes through the tax reduction legislation.Overall, the U.S. has experienced 31 consecutive months of uninterrupted job growth, with the creation of almost five million jobs since May of 2003. The Treasury Department reports federal revenues for Fiscal Year 2005 reached the highest level ever at $2.15 trillion, despite the lower tax rates.FOR INTERESTED MEDIA: A radio actuality is available by calling 1-800-545-1267. Press 327 at any time during or after the greeting and instructions. You can also access the actuality through the Internet at http://src.senate.gov in the Radio Links.