The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
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Don't Break Out the Bubbly Yet: 20 Million Americans Still Need Jobs

Statement from Robert Borosage of the Campaign for America’s Future


Don't break out the bubbly yet, warns Robert Borosage, of the Campaign for America's Future, commenting on this morning's release of unemployment numbers for February, we are still in a jobs deficit.
Statement from Robert Borosage, co-director of Campaign for America's Future:

"The new jobs figures -- an additional 236,000 jobs in February with unemployment edging down to 7.7 percent -- reveal an economy that keeps chugging along against rising headwinds. Most of the growth was in services; with manufacturing adding only a disappointing 14,000 jobs. Government continued to shed jobs, with education suffering the worst losses.

"February's numbers were better than the average job creation for the previous three months. But don't break out the bubbly. We are still in a debilitating jobs recession. As these charts show, while corporate profits and the stock market are setting records, we still have three million fewer jobs than we had at the start of the recession. In a typical post-war recovery, the US economy now would have had about 10 million more jobs than at the recession's start.

"The BLS statistics reflect this gloomy reality. There are still more than 20 million people in need of full-time work. 40.2 percent of those out of work remain long-term unemployed (jobless over 27 weeks). February's job growth did not budge the low employment population ratio of 58.6 percent. At 13.8 percent, African American unemployment remains more than twice the level of that of whites.

"And this economy is facing harsher conditions ahead. The disruptions caused by the cuts in government spending are yet to be felt. Europe's recession and divisions are deepening. While Japan has turned against austerity, the declining yen will impact our trade balance. China's tightening is likely to lead to more aggressive export expansion.

"Working families are still suffering a contained recession. Washington keeps pulling in two directions, with the extraordinary efforts of the Federal Reserve to prop up the economy undermined by the spending cuts and tax hikes passed by the Congress. With one oar pushing expansion and the other contraction, the economy is likely to remain adrift."

The Campaign for America's Future is the strategy center for the progressive movement. Our goal is to forge the enduring progressive majority needed to realize the America of shared prosperity and equal opportunity that our country was meant to be.