Washington, D.C. —(ENEWSPF)–December 2, 2016. Center for American Progress Economist Kate Bahn released the following statement today on the November 2016 employment situation figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, or BLS.
This month’s job report, which included 178,000 new jobs added and a surprisingly low unemployment rate of 4.6 percent, signals that the labor market is tightening—which translates into gradually rising wages for workers. But a deeper examination of the report shows that many people have yet to feel the effects of the broader recovery that has taken place on President Barack Obama’s watch.
The Federal Open Market Committee, or FOMC, is scheduled to meet in mid-December, and members have hinted that they believe the labor market has strengthened adequately to justify an interest rate increase—despite a lack of evidence of any inflationary pressure. The nation’s economic base is much better than the economy President Obama inherited when he took office in 2009. The nation’s labor market policy should now lift up the corners of the labor market where recovery has not been as strong rather than focus on turning around the entire economy, as when it plunged into the Great Recession.
As a new administration takes office next month, it should utilize this opportunity to build an economic agenda aimed at maintaining broadly shared growth instead of wasting it on tax cuts for those who are already well-off or infrastructure tax credits for Wall Street investors—neither of which would do much to boost aggregate demand in the long run.
Related resource: The State of the U.S. Labor Market: Pre-December 2016 Jobs Release by Kate Bahn, Gregg Gelzinis, and Annie McGrew