Job growth falls sharply; many workers drop out of labor force

Article author: 
Don Lee
Article publisher: 
LA Times
Article date: 
5 April 2013
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

Job growth slowed markedly in March from the prior month, the government said Friday in a report that was certain to disappoint analysts and increase concerns that the economy could be heading for another springtime slump.

Employers added just 88,000 net new jobs last month, the lowest since June and down from an upwardly revised 268,000 in February.

The nation's unemployment rate last month dipped a notch to a new four-year low of 7.6%, but for the wrong reason. It dropped because the labor force, those working and looking for jobs, fell by nearly a half-million people. In fact, the share of working-age Americans participating in the labor force declined to a new three-decade low of 63.3%...

But much of the report was not encouraging, especially after February's strong job growth and other signs that economic growth may be gaining momentum. Last month, retailers shed 24,000 positions, manufacturing payrolls were down slightly and the federal government lost 14,000 jobs, most of them at the Postal Service...

What's more, after Friday’s report was released, analysts immediately brought up the specter of a repeat of the last three years in which job growth slowed sharply late in the spring and summer...


CAIRCO notes

Colorado Senator Bennet, with support virtually guaranteed from Senator Udall, wants to pass an amnesty for 12 to 40 million illegal aliens who have evaded capture at our border. This amnesty / legalization / path to citizenship would increase the number of foreigners competing with Americans for jobs:

  • Up to 200,000 new low-wage visas a year, despite thousands of Americans still seeking any decent job.
  • An agricultural guest worker program with a new a “pathway to citizenship" so that ever more replacements must be imported.
  • Automatic permanent residency for every foreign student awarded a science or technology degree by an American university, despite a decade of outsourcing US technology jobs and stagnant pay in high tech fields.

Currently, over 16,000 work visas are issued every month in the U.S., despite 12 million Americans being out of work (and many more millions who are underemployed). We should be decreasing the amount of work-related immigration, not increasing it.

The Gang of Eight's Bennet’s proposals show a harsh disregard for US workers and for the common good. This isn’t about a labor shortage, it’s a choice about what work should be like in America and how large our population should be.



From the briefing paper: Scarring Effects: Demographics of the Long Term Unemployed and the Danger of Ignoring the Jobs Deficit. National Employment Law Project, April, 2013

Four years after the official end of the Great Recession, millions of America’s workers continue to struggle to survive without a paycheck. This persistently high level of unemployment is the real cliff that threatens our economy. Lost wages, a smaller tax base, less consumer spending, and disproportionate growth in lower-wage sectors pose fiscal challenges for decades to come.

  • Taken together, the "sequester" and other budget-cutting policies will likely slow GDP this year by 2.1 percentage points, costing the U.S. economy over 2.4 million jobs.
  • All told, there are 27 million unemployed or underemployed workers in the U.S. labor force, including not only the unemployed counted by official jobs reports, but also the eight million part-time workers who would rather be working full-time and the 6.8 million discouraged workers who want to work but who have stopped looking altogether.
  • Several years after the official end of the recession, the average duration of unemployment remains at least twice that of any other recession since the 1950s. An unprecedented four in ten jobless workers - nearly five million people - have been out of work for 27 weeks or longer, pushing the average duration of unemployment up to 37 weeks, nearly 1 6 weeks longer than during the worst of the 1980s downturn.

Page 7 of the report remarks that:

"It is astonishing that federal lawmakers so blithely disregard the urgent need for policy responses addressing the 4.8 million long-term unemployed. "