The federal government says payroll employment rose by 678,000 in February; the forecast from news outlets including MarketWatch was for somewhere in the neighborhood of 440,000. Meanwhile, employment in December and January combined was 92,000 higher than previously reported. As for the unemployment rate, that edged down to 3.8%.
"I think it's a positive note when we're seeing the jobs that we lost in the pandemic come back," begins Elaine Parker, chief communications officer of the Job Creators Network, "but our issue is what we're seeing the administration do is literally put their foot on the brake and the gas at the same time. It's their policies that are slowing this recovery."
At the height of the pandemic, the U.S. economy was down approximately 22 million jobs. Presently, the country is still down two million.
"So we haven't gotten back to just even, to neutral to start creating jobs, and this administration continues to claim victory over creating more jobs in the first year than any president in history," says Parker. "Well, we were in a hole, a black hole for that matter, so we're finally getting within two million jobs, but we still have a ways to go."
She adds that as long as the administration continues to "put its foot on the brake and contribute to the inflationary pressures that are happening," recovery will not be easy.
"We're actually seeing real wages go down for workers around the country because we've got inflation that's at a 40-year high," Parker notes.
President Biden argued Friday that the jobs report shows the U.S. is in a good spot to take on inflation. However, energy policies and prices have been blamed for contributing to inflation.
"People are hurting," says Parker. "Gas prices are through the roof, and this administration needs to reverse their energy policies and start drilling here."