Washington, D.C. — Center for American Progress Economist Michael Madowitz released the following statement today on the June 2015 employment situation figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Last month, the economy added 223,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.3 percent.
Today’s employment report—which marks 64 consecutive months of private sector job growth—contains some encouraging news about the state of the U.S. labor market. Last week, Commerce Department data revealed a quarter-on-quarter increase in real personal disposable income, which also points to improved economic conditions for households.
This week, the Obama administration took a huge step forward to further bolster economic outcomes for middle-class families and address the financial squeeze felt by millions of hardworking Americans. By expanding long-obsolete overtime protections, more workers will receive the wages they have rightly earned and deserve. Profits have bounced back for Wall Street, but everyday Americans have been unable to share in the recovery. Updating overtime protections will ensure greater economic security for millions.
There is, however, more ground to cover before the economy is fully back to normal. As Janet Yellen noted after the most recent Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meeting, cyclical weakness in the labor market remains: ‘The participation rate remains below most estimates of its underlying trend, involuntary part-time employment remains elevated, and wage growth remains relatively subdued. Although progress clearly has been achieved, room for further improvement remains.’ Under these conditions—and given the inability of Congress to break out of a self-defeating policy of fiscal austerity—interest rate increases by the Federal Reserve should be off the table until the economy improves decisively.
Click here to see CAP’s new, original graph showing how job growth has accelerated over the past year, driven by full-time hiring.
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