U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX), the Vice Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, could not help but weigh in on today’s release of Employment Situation Report for April 2015 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That report showed an increase of 223,000 nonfarm payroll jobs (213,000 private payroll jobs) and the unemployment rate ticked down to 5.4 percent.
“Instead of shrinking, the Obama recovery’s jobs gap got bigger for a fourth consecutive month and now stands at 5,730,000. To close the jobs gap by the end of President Obama’s term, the economy will need to do something it hasn’t done even once during the Obama recovery — generate 431,000 new Main Street jobs a month.”
- Private-sector Jobs Gap. Compared with the average of other post-1960 recoveries lasting more than one year, the private-sector jobs gap stands at 5,730,000. Compared with the Reagan recovery of the 1980s, the gap stands at 12,082,000.
- Closing the Gap. Eliminating the Obama recovery’s private-sector jobs gap compared with the average of post-1960 recoveries by the end of 2016 would require the addition of 431,000 private-sector jobs in each of the next 20 months. Closing the gap compared with the Reagan recovery would require 817,000 private-sector jobs in each of the next 20 months.
- At This Pace. Private-sector job gains have averaged 251,000 over the past six months. At that pace the private-sector jobs gap would be reduced by 37 percent (2,122,000) to 3,608,000 by the end of 2016.
- Labor Force Participation Rate. The labor force participation rate rose by 0.1 percentage point to 62.8 percent, remaining near 30-year lows and well below its pre-recession level of 66.0 percent.
- Employment-to-Population Ratio. April’s employment-to-population ratio of 59.3 percent remains below its level when the recession ended in June of 2009 (59.4 percent) and significantly worse than the 62.7 percent in December 2007 when the recession began.
- Unemployment Rate. The unemployment rate would be 9.7 percent if the labor force participation rate was at the level it was when President Obama took office (65.7 percent).