On Friday, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics announced the unemployment rate dropped from 8.3% to 8.1%, adding only 96,000 jobs in August. This marks the 43rd consecutive month with higher than 8% unemployment. June's and July's jobs numbers were also revised downward; job growth during those months was overestimated by 41,000 jobs. It really is an ugly report.
The only reason the unemployment rate fell is because nearly 370,000 people dropped out of the labor force--that is a lot of people who are giving up on their job search.
In August, the percentage of working-age Americans with a job or looking for a job dropped to the lowest level in 31 years, and in fact, there are 700,000 more unemployed people today than in January 2009. Last year, things were beginning to feel better, but now it seems like we are moving backwards. Since January of this year, job growth has averaged 139,000 per month, but last year we averaged 153,000 jobs per month.
When do we say enough? The administration's economic policies are not getting people back to work and they are hurting the economy more than helping it.
It is time for a change. There are 36 jobs bills, passed by the House of Representatives this Congress, that are stalled in the Senate. The longer the Senate waits to take them up, the longer people remain jobless without a way to support themselves and their families.
It is time to start making it easier for employers to hire folks rather than harder. We need to reduce unnecessary and burdensome regulations, and pursue comprehensive tax reform that will get rid of all of these expiring extensions each year --giving small business some certainty to hire workers. We need to get moving.