U.S. Congressman Kevin Brady (R-TX), the top House Republican on the Joint Economic Committee, made the following statement upon today’s release of Employment Situation Report for February 2015 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reported an increase of 295,000 nonfarm payroll jobs (288,000 private payroll jobs) and decline in the unemployment rate to 5.5 percent.
“Monthly job gains in the 250,000 to 300,000 range, while welcome, simply won’t close the serious jobs gap America’s unemployed are facing. We will need to generate 403,000 a month if we hope to close the 5.5 million private-sector jobs gap of the disappointing Obama recovery by the end of 2016,” said Brady. “To create a healthier economy, we need a growth agenda that focuses on fixing the broken tax code, right-sizing government, restoring balanced regulation, a sound dollar and enacting effective, enforceable and fair trade agreements.”
- Labor Force Participation Rate. The labor force participation rate ticked down to 62.8 percent, but remains near 30-year lows and is well below its December 2007 level of 66.0 percent.
- Employment-to-Population Ratio. February’s employment-to-population ratio of 59.3 percent remains lower than employment-to-population ratio of 59.4 percent in June 2009 when the recession ended and is significantly lower than the rate of 62.7 percent in December 2007 when the recession began.
- At This Pace. Private-sector job gains have averaged 285,000 over the past six months. At that pace the private-sector jobs gap would be reduced by 53 percent (2,927,000) to under three million (2,603,000) by the end of 2016.
- 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 403,000 private-sector jobs in each of the next 22 months.