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Jobs Report Evidence of a ‘Massive Failure of Policy and Will’

WASHINGTON - The Labor Department’s September jobs report represents a “massive failure of policy and will,” charged Campaign for America’s Future co-director Robert Borosage today in response to news that the economy produced only 148,000 jobs last month.

Reporting on the labor market before the damage inflicted by the government shutdown, the Bureau of Labor Statistics report shows continued inadequate jobs growth. “Over the past year, the percentage of population with jobs has remained unchanged. Over 20 million people continue to be in need of full-time work. It is long past time for Washington to stop prescribing more pain, and start focusing on how to put people back to work,” said Borosage.

CAF’s summary analysis follows:

The BLS September jobs report summarizes the labor market before the damage inflicted by the government shutdown. It shows an economy that is treading water, barely creating enough jobs – 148,000 in September – to cover new entrants into the workforce. Over 20 million people are still in need of full-time work.

The most telling figures are those reflecting participation in the economy. A year ago in September, 58.7% of the population was employed; 58.6% were employed last month. The participation rate of those in the civilian labor force was 63.6% a year ago; it is 63.2% last month.

This “new normal” is stagnating at an unacceptable level. Mass unemployment continues. Wage stagnation is certain. Families will continue to lose ground.

This represents a massive failure of policy and will. Yes, the U..S. is faring better than most other industrial countries – which are suffering the effects of harsher austerity policies. Yes, the U.S. continues to enjoy constant jobs growth. But this economy is on a road to nowhere. And most Americans are not sharing in the “recovery.” And all of that is before we begin to account for the utterly gratuitous damage inflicted by the government shutdown.

Now Washington is headed into another manufactured crisis around the budget in which the discussion is entirely over how much, what and how fast to cut spending. But the deficit is plummeting, decreasing faster than anytime since the demobilization after World War II. The pace of its decline is impeding any recovery. But for jobs, the reality is “little change.”

Washington needs a debate on how to put people back to work and how to get the economy moving – not one on what dose of austerity to prescribe.


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