Latest report reflects job-destroying agenda

Latest report reflects job-destroying agenda

Latest report reflects job-destroying agenda

Though the economy saw 253,000 jobs added last month and unemployment is at 3.4%, a senior research fellow says labor force participation remains a concern.

Rachel Greszler of The Heritage Foundation, a center-right think tank headquartered in Washington, D.C., says the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics shows the labor force participation rate is at 62.6%, which is significantly lower than it was prior to the pandemic.

"If you look at that rate and translate it into jobs, that means that we have two million fewer people working today than we would if we had had that same employment rate previously," she explains.

To put it another way, many people are still on the sidelines.

"We are not exactly sure why," notes Greszler. "I think there is a number of reasons; there is still a lot of welfare without work benefits that are available to them."

To either not be working at all or to be working less, she says, is particularly attractive for young workers in the 20-24 age group.

Greszler, Rachel (Heritage Foundation) Greszler

"There are also some outside factors," the researcher continues. "A recent study showed that the decline in older workers' employment was entirely due to excessive home price growth that has happened recently. So if you have a higher nest egg, you might decide to retire earlier."

The opioid epidemic could even be a factor.

"That was already a problem before the pandemic but has been exacerbated by it," Greszler says. "Some economists have estimated that about a quarter of the recent decline is just because of the growth in the opioid epidemic."

Calling the employment report "lackluster," she goes on to point out that the unemployment rates for black (4.7%) and Hispanic workers (4.4%) are higher than the overall rate. Still, the White House has stated in recent weeks that President Biden believes his plan is working.

Greszler says while his administration's claim that those rates are lower than they have been, the president should still be aiming for a labor market and an economy that has more opportunities for all types of workers. Instead, he is moving "full steam ahead" with his job-destroying agenda.