Washington, D.C. — Center for American Progress Economist Kate Bahn released the following statement today on the May 2017 employment situation figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
The economy added a modest 138,000 jobs in May, and workers are seeing steady wage growth, with a year-over-year increase of 2.5 percent. Unemployment has remained little changed and relatively low at 4.3 percent for May. This month, attention turns to the millions of students graduating from high school and college and the labor market they will face as they seek full-time employment for the first time.
Although the labor market is not as tight as it was at the height of the last boom in the mid-2000s, the Obama administration developed policies that would help young graduates at the start of their careers, such as extending parental health care coverage to age 26 through the Affordable Care Act.
We are at a crucial moment with the Trump administration and the congressional majority, who appear to be aiming to abandon the types of policies that help young workers. The budget released last month demonstrates Trump’s willingness to slash resources for workforce development as well as federal student loan forgiveness for those who work in the public sector. Huge tax cuts for the wealthy, in addition to doing very little to improve the economy, will do nothing for young workers making their way into the labor market for the first time.
Related resource: The State of the U.S. Labor Market: Pre-June 2017 Jobs Release by Annie McGrew and Kate Bahn.
For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Allison Preiss at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.478.6331.