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Friday, February 01, 2013

The Employment Situation: Needs Improvement

The Employment Situation:

Total nonfarm payroll employment increased by 157,000 in January, and the unemployment rate was essentially unchanged at 7.9 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Retail trade, construction, health care, and wholesale trade added jobs over the month.

I agree with Calculated Risk:

This was another sluggish growth employment report, but with strong upward revisions to prior months.

And "another sluggish report" ought to bring some soul-searching in Congress, followed by action to try to help with job creation (even with the prior revisions recovery is far too slow to be acceptable). But somehow a deficit problem years in the future is more important than people struggling today.

More from CR:

The headline number was below expectations of 185,000. However employment for November and December were revised up sharply. ... The unemployment rate increased slightly to 7.9% from 7.8% in December. The unemployment rate is from the household report and the household report showed only a small increase in employment. ... The Labor Force Participation Rate was unchanged at 63.6% in January.. The participation rate is well below the 66% to 67% rate that was normal over the last 20 years, although a significant portion of the recent decline is due to demographics. The Employment-Population ratio was also unchanged at 58.6% in January...

We shouldn't simply accept this as the inevitable consequence of a financial recession. Policy matters, and policymakers in Congress have not done their jobs. If the politics of big money didn't protect them -- if members of Congress faced the unemployment line when they failed -- maybe things would be different. That's why the political empowerment of the working class is the key to better employment policy.

    Posted by on Friday, February 1, 2013 at 08:16 AM in Economics, Fiscal Policy, Politics, Unemployment | Permalink  Comments (43)


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