The prolonged and divisive debate over how to raise the debt ceiling distracted Washington policy makers from the key economic issue at hand: a weak jobs recovery. Today’s jobs numbers from the Department of Labor show some improvement, but not at a sufficient pace to bring down unemployment, especially after learning last week that U.S. economic growth is stalling and that the recovery is weaker than previously reported.
Until we get people back to work, the United States will not be able to address its long-term fiscal problems. Unfortunately, the recently enacted debt-ceiling agreement will in no way move the economy toward job creation. Just look at the key data point emerging from today’s report. In July, the share of Americans at work fell to 58.1 percent, lower than at any other point in 28 years.This article was originally published in MarketWatch.