If the unemployment rate goes down a tenth of a point and the nation creates 115,000 new jobs in April that’s cause to celebrate, right?
Not when the country has lost a cumulative 4.5 million jobs over the past five years and we need to create 125,000 new jobs per month just to keep up with population growth.
“The unemployment numbers today confirm several telltale warnings we’ve seen lately that the economy isn’t growing at the rate needed to get people back to work,” said Congressman Eric Cantor, House Majority Leader. “We need to foster an environment for economic growth that will allow business owners to keep more of their hard earned money, boost long-term growth and create jobs.”
Cantor advocates lower taxes, less bureaucracy, and reduced regulation to encourage small business growth.
As for the unemployment rate going down a tick? Well, that’s because Americans have never been more discouraged looking for work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 342,000 Americans dropped out of the labor force in April and the number of workers not in the labor force reached an all-time high of 88,419,000. The participation rate is at its lowest since 1981.
Other economic indicators give cause for concern too. According to today’s USA Today report:
* “House prices dropped for six straight months through February, according to the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home-price index. And Americans bought fewer previously owned homes in March.”
* Consumer spending is up to 2.9%, but economists don’t think that can be sustained
* And, while manufacturing job growth has been strong, economists also believe that it will slow down the rest of the year
An interesting figure is that corporate profits have improved, but they haven’t invested the nearly $2.2 Trillion in profits that they have to expand – mainly due to uncertainty and a lack of confidence in the economy says the report.
Perhaps some of that certainty could be restored if the U.S. Senate passed a budget, acted on federal taxes, or brought to the floor to debate and vote on the dozens of job-creating bills passed in the U.S. House?
Update (Statement from Tim Kaine):
“Today’s jobs report marking 26 consecutive months of private sector job creation is a continued sign of our economic recovery after 25 consecutive months of job losses, but there is still much work to be done.
“To spur immediate job creation and raise our country’s platform for economic success, I’ve laid out a vision that focuses on the Virginia economic lessons of growth, talent, and balance. This agenda calls for easing access to capital for small businesses, making strategic investments in infrastructure to transport goods and services at the speed of a global economy, and committing to an all of the above energy policy that develops all of our domestic resources, including clean energy like wind and solar. But if we truly aim for long-term economic success, we also must adopt a talent strategy – from pre-K to post-secondary and workforce development – to prepare our workers for the jobs of tomorrow.
“The all-cuts approach of George Allen and Tea Party Republicans would double-down on the economic policies that got us into this hole in the first place, and devastate resources for key priorities like education and infrastructure. Instead, I will take a balanced approach to our fiscal challenges that makes significant cuts, but also leaves room for important investments that are fundamental to keep Virginia and the nation competitive, and continue our economic recovery.”
In other words, Gov. Kaine advocates more spending when our nation already has a $16 Trillion national debt.