Will Job Growth Ever Get Traction?

Latest jobs report raises serious questions.


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 March 2015 by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which reported an increase of 126,000 nonfarm payroll jobs (129,000 private payroll jobs) and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.5  percent.

“Main Street America continues to suffer under the Obama recovery.  March’s disappointing results mean the pace of job growth is slowing and the troubling Obama Jobs Gap has worsened. Our economy is now missing 5,643,000 jobs at this point in the recovery compared to the average of other U.S.  recoveries.”

“That’s harsh news for the millions of Americans looking for work, especially since this quarters’ economic growth is tracking near or below a struggling one percent. Right now the U.S. economy needs to be generating nearly 420,000 new Main Street jobs a month to close the jobs gap by the end of President Obama’s  term.”

  • Labor Force Participation Rate.  The labor force participation rate ticked down to 62.7 percent, remaining near 30-year lows and well below its pre-recession level of 66.0  percent.
  • Employment-to-Population Ratio.  March’s employment-to-population ratio of 59.3 percent  remains lower than 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.
  • At This Pace.  Private-sector job gains have averaged 258,000 over the past six months.  At that pace the private-sector jobs gap would be reduced by 40 percent (2,258,000) to 3,385,000 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 419,000 private-sector jobs in each of the next 21  months.
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