Washington, D.C. — Michael Madowitz, economist at the Center for American Progress, released the following statement today after the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics released the employment situation figures for September 2017. The economy lost 33,000 jobs, primarily as a result of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma; the unemployment rate dropped to 4.2 percent; and year-over-year wages increased by 2.9 percent.
The jobs report released today brings into focus Congress’ current actions on the economy. This week, the House majority passed a budget that gravely endangers Medicaid, Medicare, public education, our roads and bridges, and clean air and water, while the Senate began to move a budget with enormous, deficit-financed tax cuts. This sets the stage for Congressional leaders to pass enormous tax cuts for the millionaires, billionaires, and wealthy corporations. The record on this is clear: trickle-down tax cuts don’t create jobs, and massive tax cuts for big corporations won’t help improve our global competitiveness. The White House and the Congressional majority are trying to sell the American people a bill of goods, but the facts should prevail over falsehoods on tax cuts and our economy. It’s critical that they do.
Anyone concerned with jobs and wages should also be paying attention to upcoming Fed appointments. With the retirement of Vice Chair Stanley Fischer last month, and the appointment of Randal Quarles this week, the Fed Board has only two economists. There is considerable speculation over who will head the Fed during the term starting in February, with the candidates with shallower monetary policy credentials but closer ties to Wall Street apparently under consideration. These choices will matter a great deal both for balancing how economic growth benefits Wall Street and Main Street as well as for our ability to avoid or manage future recessions. For this critical appointment, we ought to favor expertise and experience over connections.
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