U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady of Texas (R-TX), the Vice Chairman of the Joint Economic Committee, has chimed in upon today’s release of the Employment Situation Report for August 2015 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), which reported an increase of 142,000 nonfarm payroll jobs (an increase of 118,000 in the private sector) and that the unemployment rate held steady at 5.1 percent.
“A record private-sector jobs gap after today’s terrible jobs report is clear evidence that President Obama’s economic policies of more taxes, more federal spending, and more regulation have failed Main Street America. We need to put our faith in free markets and the hardworking men and women of America, not in government.”
- Private-sector Jobs Gap. Compared with the average of other post-1960 recoveries lasting longer than one year, the private sector jobs gap increased to 6,033,000 from 5,867,000 – a new record. Compared with the Reagan recovery of the 1980s, the gap increased to 13,044,000 from 12,834,000.
- Effect of Benchmark Revision. On September 17, BLS released its preliminary benchmark revision estimate for the Current Establishment Survey (CES). BLS estimates that nonfarm payrolls will be revised downward by 208,000 jobs, with a decrease of 255,000 private sector payroll jobs and an increase of 47,000 government jobs. If this estimate proves accurate it would push the private-sector jobs gap to 6,288,000.
- Closing the Gap. Eliminating the Obama recovery’s private-sector jobs gap with the average of other post-1960 recoveries by the end of 2016 would require the addition of 516,000 private sector jobs in each of the next 15 months. Closing the gap compared with the Reagan recovery would require the addition of 1,031,000 private sector jobs in each of the next 15 months.
- At This Pace. Private-sector job gains have averaged 179,000 over the past six months. At that pace the private-sector jobs gap compared with the average of other post-1960 recoveries would be reduced by 16 percent (967,000) to 5,066,000 by the end of 2016.
- Labor Force Participation Rate. The labor force participation rate decreased by 0.2 percentage point to 62.4 percent. At 62.4 percent the labor force participation rate is at its lowest level since September 1977 when the rate stood at 62.3 percent. The labor force participation rate was 66.0 percent when the recession began in December 2007 and 65.7 percent when the recession ended in June 2009.
- Employment-to-Population Ratio. The employment-to-population ratio declined to 59.2 percent. At 59.2 percent, the employment-to-population ratio is below its level of 59.4 percent when the recession ended in June 2009 and significantly below its December 2007 level of 62.7 percent when the recession began.