Washington, D.C. — Today, Center for American Progress Economist Adam Hersh issued the following reaction to the announcement of October’s employment figures:
Today’s data show the surprising resilience of U.S. labor markets even as extreme conservatives in Congress risked economic calamity by hijacking the political debate. The U.S. economy added 204,000 net new jobs in October, while also shedding 12,000 federal workers in the public service. While a bright spot in the recent economic data, the U.S. economy is not out of the woods yet. Employment overall progressed, but not fast enough to restore the economy to full employment in any reasonable timeframe. At 7.3 percent, the unemployment rate remained basically unchanged, but was driven by 720,000 people exiting the labor force. And of the jobs being created, more than half in October were in parts of the economy—such as retail, leisure and hospitality, and basic health care—where wages, productivity, and prospects for career advancement are low.
This does not need to be the United States’ economic fate; Congress can do two simple things to improve this situation, reasonable solutions that enjoy broad public and bipartisan support. First, replace sequestration spending cuts with a focus on jobs and investment today—and higher productivity and deficit reduction over the longer term. Second, pass comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship, which the Senate has already passed and a bipartisan bill is waiting for a vote in the House—a policy move that is not only right, but would boost employment, economic growth, and the number of taxpayers.
To speak with Adam Hersh about the monthly jobs report, please contact Katie Peters at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.741.6285.
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