AP Hides Good Economic Numbers In Military News

Where do you go to get your economic news?

The Bush unemployment numbers continue to best the numbers from the Clinton years.
But, you would have to search the military news to find out how the low unemployment rate is affecting society.

The Pentagon opposes Senator Jim Webb’s (D-VA) legislation that would guarantee a full-ride scholarship for service members to any in-state public university after only 3 years of service. The Pentagon said it would hurt its ability to retain service members.
This seemed like an odd place for the Associated Press to hide the good economic numbers:

The Pentagon’s opposition to Webb’s bill underscores the difficulty the military has had in recruiting and retaining an all-volunteer force at a time when it is engaged in a war that is deeply unpopular with the American public.

Adding to the military’s dilemma is the larger number of soldiers and Marines needed to fight the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Last year, the Pentagon recommended that the Army be increased by about 65,000 soldiers to a total of 547,000, and the Marines be increased by 27,000 to 202,000.

(The Associated Press omits the fact here that the Pentagon released figures this week showing that both recruitment and retention continue to meet or exceed goals for the year.)

The difficulty in finding young people also can be attributed in part to low unemployment numbers in recent years. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, unemployment dropped from 6 percent in 2003 to 4.6 percent in 2007.

In recent months, the military has had to take creative steps to reach its desired troop numbers. A year ago, when Army recruiters didn’t meet their goal, the service announced new $20,000 bonuses for recruits and up to $40,000 if an enlistee signed up for at least four years.

Related… The media failed to mention the record US April Tax receipts.

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