June 16, 2006

Crapo Touts Robust Economy, Idaho Numbers

Cites job strength as a result of sound fiscal policy

Washington, DC â?? Upon todayâ??s release of a Department of Labor (DOL) report showing that May unemployment rates continue to show a downward trend, Idaho Senator Mike Crapo credited recently-passed tax relief and sound fiscal policy for fueling the nationâ??s strong economy for the results. With drops reported in 41 states (including Idaho) and the District of Columbia, the results clearly indicate encouraging movement. Idahoâ??s May unemployment rate is 3.5%, down 0.4% over same period last year.â??With more Americans continuing to find and maintain employment, we can be assured that keeping more money in the pockets of taxpayers is good fiscal policy,â?? said Crapo, who serves on the Senate Finance Committee which oversees tax-writing policy. â??The overall numbers are encouraging and demonstrate that tax-cutting policies are benefiting the economy. In Idaho, that means that more than 30,000 people were working who did not have jobs last year at this time. Our state also recorded one of the largest over-the-year increases in payroll employment at 5.1%. Those who are in the workforce are benefiting from the economic policies in place and we, as a country, are working toward the goal of making sure that all who want to work are able to find a job. The government needs to continue doing its part to enable employers to grow business and the economy. â?? â??Recent reports are that inflation is showing some troubling signs, including in some areas in Idaho,â?? Crapo concluded. â??We cannot let that become a trend and need to do all we can to sustain this period of significant, extended economic vitality so that all will benefit. The overall national unemployment number of 4.6% remains significantly below the recent peak from June 2003 of 6.3%. Growth in the gross domestic product (GDP) is up, housing markets continue to show activity above historical levels, and todayâ??s news that weekly unemployment claims dropped below 300,000 all combine to indicate that the economy remains robust. I will continue to work toward sound fiscal policies to ensure that all Idahoans and Americans will benefit from these good economic times.â??The DOL also released its weekly Unemployment Insurance Claims Report, showing decreases in unemployment claims from previous weeks. The full report is available at http://www.bls.gov/news.release/pdf/laus.pdf.