February’s job-creation figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics on Friday underline the continuing pathetic state of the U.S. job market.
New jobs for the month numbered a middling 175,000, but the three-month average including January and normally vigorous December activity was a pale 121,000. The unemployment rate was 6.7 percent, masking a 203,000-person increase in long-term joblessness among Americans, a number now standing at 3.8 million. Wild-eyed optimists, perhaps seeking to jack up the stock market, proposed that the February figure would have been higher if the weather had been better in parts of the country.
It is clear that drastic action needs to be taken if the situation of high unemployment, lowering quality of jobs and low, stagnant pay is no longer to persist in an economy that has been in recession since 2008.
President Obama’s cheerleading on the subject, or Democratic efforts to blame the GOP, or vice versa, should be of no satisfaction to Americans.
Whether the Federal Reserve Bank continues to hand lollipops or tapers them, in the form of quantitative easing to America’s banks to fatten their uninvested reserves or to increase the bonuses they pay the rich people who run them is also of no major interest to Americans who want to work, or who want a living wage for the work they do.
These latest job figures support a contention that federal and state leaders and legislatures need to take serious action to tackle the problem.