More Bad News on the Jobs Front
The June jobs report is a travesty. The private sector created just 84,000 positions in June. Unemployment remains stuck at 8.2 percent.
For 41 straight months, the unemployment rate has hovered above 8 percent. As summer presses on, the jobs crisis continues — and things are unlikely to improve soon.
The International Monetary Fund recently reported that manufacturing in America declined for the first time in three years last month. The IMF projects that our economy will grow just 2.0 percent this year.
At the rate we are going, it will take us a decade to get back to full employment.
Wishing our way to job growth won’t work. The private sector simply isn’t growing fast enough. Without targeted government effort, the employment crisis will persist…until 2022.
It’s long past time for lawmakers in Washington to give the American economy a boost by creating a modern-day Works Progress Administration. Thousands of unemployed Americans would finally be given a chance to earn a paycheck. They’d be put to work rebuilding vital infrastructure, like highways, parks, bridges and schools. They could also teach, write about, plan, develop and deploy the skills required for us to compete globally.
Sadly, calls for such a program often get criticized by the far right as dangerous “big government.” But that misunderstands the real effects of a national public work initiative. Yes, initially workers are getting paid with tax dollars. But the improvements they make end up helping private enterprise flourish — businesses benefit from better infrastructure, a better educated workforce, and better paid consumers.
It’s just not acceptable for policymakers to remain idle when there are abundant signs that the economy recovery is slowing down. Legislators need to work with President Obama to get to work on pulling us out of this crisis.