Washington, D.C. — Center for American Progress Economist Michael Madowitz released the following statement today on the February 2017 employment situation figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Labor market trends originating in the Obama years continued this month, with 235,000 jobs added and the unemployment rate decreasing slightly to 4.7 percent. Since the employment recovery began in February 2010, we’ve added nearly 16 million jobs, and the steady tightening of the labor market has finally started to deliver wage growth for workers, increasing 2.8 percent over the past year. These statistics show that the economy has continued to build on the foundation and success of the past few years and tell the story of the economy far more accurately than the Trump administration’s focus on the 30 large companies in the Dow.
Keeping up strong wage growth in a tightening labor market requires balance, and the policies we see right now from the Trump administration put that balance at risk. In his first 49 days in office, President Donald Trump has discussed loosening oversight in financial markets, which may force the Federal Reserve to raise interest rates to prevent financial bubbles. Rolling back protections, updating overtime standards, and endangering Americans’ retirement savings have delighted Trump’s Wall Street and corporate base but are cold comfort for the American worker.
On top of that, House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI) and House Republicans have begun the process of repealing the Affordable Care Act, or ACA, which will inject economic insecurity into millions of American households while giving a massive and unnecessary tax break to the wealthy. Repealing the ACA will also seriously jeopardize the strong growth of the American health care sector. This is hardly the way to continue to build strong labor market growth.
Related resource: The State of the U.S. Labor Market: Pre-March 2017 Jobs Release by Michael Madowitz, Annie McGrew, and Gregg Gelzinis
For more information or to speak with an expert, contact Allison Preiss at email@example.com or 202.478.6331.