The latest unemployment numbers released by the state provide the fodder for a tale of two economies if you listen to the partisans with a stake in the presidential race. Iowa’s unemployment rate increased in September, to four-point-seven percent, but state officials say it’s because more people are back in the job market, looking for work. U.S. Commerce Secretary Don Evans held a news conference in Iowa late yesterday, praising the tax cuts President Bush enacted. Evans says the economy is strong and getting stronger. Evans says the national unemployment rate is five-point-four percent — and that’s below the average unemployment of the last three decades. “You’ve got to say the trend is a good trend,” Evans says. Evans points to the 13-hundred jobs state officials say were created in Iowa in September. But Jason Furman, economic policy director for the John Kerry campaign, sees things differently. Furman says during the eight years of the Clinton Adminstration, monthly job growth in Iowa averaged 28-hundred jobs — over twice as much as the figure for last month. Furman says over the Bush term, “job growth has been really poor” and “there’s no evidence that the tax cuts are working.” Furman says Iowa has lost nearly 26-thousand jobs during Bush’s presidency.
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