U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX) the top House Republican on the Joint Economic Committee, responded to today’s release of the Economic Report of the President for 2015.
“The economy is improving, Mr. President, but don’t celebrate yet. This recovery is still missing 5.5 million private-sector jobs and has left an economic hole the size of Australia. We must change course if we hope to get college graduates to work and start growing the paychecks of middle class families,” Brady said.
Brady pointed out that the Obama recovery still lags behind the average of other economic recoveries during the past half-century. Even if recent improved higher growth rates were sustained, a large “Growth Gap” would remain by the time President Obama leaves office in January 2017. For example:
- In the fourth quarter of 2014, the annual rate of real GDP growth was 2.6%. However, if the U.S. economy were to grow at this rate for next eight quarters, the Growth Gap in terms of real GDP would actually expand from $1.5 trillion to $1.6 trillion.
- Over the last six months, private employers added an average of 277,000 payroll jobs per month. If this rate of private-sector job creation were sustained in each of next 23 months, the Growth Gap in terms private-sector payroll jobs would still be 2.5 million.
- To actually close the Growth Gap by January 2017, real GDP would have to grow at an annual rate of 7.4% during the next eight quarters, and private employers would have to add 397,000 payroll jobs would have to add in each of the next 23 months.
“I will read the Economic Report of the President today with one question in mind: What policy changes would President Obama be willing to make to accelerate economic growth sufficiently to close this Growth Gap.” Brady said.