Washington, D.C.—Today, Heather Boushey, Senior Economist at the Center for American Progress, had the following reaction to the announcement of November’s unemployment figures:
The sharp fall in the unemployment rate and upward revisions to prior months payroll data are both welcome news. This month’s report provides some optimism that the payroll survey may be underestimating the creation of new firms as the payroll survey reported an additional 120,000 jobs in November, while workers reported an additional 278,000 jobs in November; the gap could be due to a higher-than-usual number of new firms being created. The less optimistic reading of today’s data is that about half of the decline in the unemployed is due to people—disproportionately women—no longer searching for work.
Europe’s troubles alongside Congress’s inability to move forward on job-creating legislation continue to pose serious roadblocks to getting the labor market up and running. There are still nearly 6 million long-term unemployment workers and, unless Congress acts soon, benefits for these workers will expire at the end of this month. Congress has never before cut off benefits to the long-term unemployed when the unemployment rate was above 7.2 percent, and there’s no good reason to do so now.
To speak to Boushey about the monthly jobs report, contact Katie Peters at [email protected] or 202.741.6285.