Jason Furman just started as the chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers, and he's already mixing things up.
Two months ago, I reported that then-Chairman Alan Krueger opened up each official White House statement on the monthly jobs reports in the exact same fashion every month since July 2012. His last statement before leaving the Obama administration contained that same wording as well, making it an entire year without changing the official reaction.
The statement read:
While more work remains to be done, today's employment report provides further confirmation that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression. It is critical that we remain focused on pursuing policies to speed job creation and expand the middle class, as we continue to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007.
And here's what the design looked like:
This wasn't to say that Krueger was lazy. In fairness, the administration wanted to keep its position consistent. After all, if it isn't broke, why fix it?
Now, here's the report that Furman released on Friday:
The difference is staggering. Not only are there five charts, but the message coming from the administration has changed as well. It reads:
Over the last four years, we've cleared away the rubble from the financial crisis and begun to lay a new foundation for stronger, more durable economic growth. With continued solid job gains, today's employment report is another sign of progress, but we must continue to pursue policies that move our economy forward and restore middle class security.
This might be part of a new strategy by the administration to explain the economy better to the American people. As compared to previous statements, this breaks down and explains improvement in different sections of the economy. And while the recovery has been slower than most would have liked, the Obama administration is attempting to take credit for the progress.
If Furman continues with this new strategy, it could improve the overall outlook of the administration's role in the recovery.
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