The jobs pothole. The latest numbers were half what was predicted. Where are American jobs?
It’s been a big string of strong months for job creation in the USA. Most everybody expected more of the same when the new jobs numbers for March came out on Friday. A quarter million new jobs created was the confident ballpark. More good news. Instead, the actual number posted by the Labor Department Friday was half that. Just 126,000 new jobs. That’s a big pothole in the economic recovery story. What’s going on? A lot depends on this. This hour On Point: the jobs pothole, and what’s really going on with work, wages and the US economy.
-- Tom Ashbrook
Justin Wolfers, professor of economics at the University of Michigan, where he also is a professor in the Ford School of Public Policy. Senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Contributing columnist for the New York Times. (@justinwolfers)
Jennifer Erickson, director of competitiveness and economic growth at the Center for American Progress.
From Tom’s Reading List
New York Times: Jobs Report Adds to Evidence of a Slowing Economy -- "The economy is slowing. Over the past few months, consumption spending has been flat. Industrial production has fallen slightly. Real retail sales are down. And durable goods orders have fallen sharply. The latest readings of gross domestic product suggest a tepid rate of growth at the end of 2014, and tracking estimates point to continuing weakness at the start of 2015."
Harvard Business School: An Economy Doing Half Its Job — "Our sense that the American economy is doing only half its job is amplified by the recent business cycle, with its jobless, low-wage recovery. After the recession that began in late 2007, real gross domestic product recovered to pre-downturn levels in three and a half years, but it took three more years (until May 2014) for the number of jobs in America to return to its prior peak."
The Wall Street Journal: Why Are Wages Growing Slowly Despite McDonald’s, Wal-Mart Raises? — "How is that possible with all the news of raises and minimum-wage increases in more than a dozen states this year? Pay raises announced by prominent companies don’t kick in till later this year. But even when they do, they won’t address the deeper challenge: The middle of the labor market is largely missing out."
This program aired on April 7, 2015.