Battling Poverty in America Begins with Jobs
The U.S. economy added 165,000 jobs last month and the country’s unemployment rate declined to the lowest level since 2008. The news helped push U.S. stock prices to new highs, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average climbing above 15,000 and the S&P 500 Index over 1,600 shortly after the announcement.
Friday’s Bureau of Labor Statistics report says the jobless rate was 7.5 percent in April, one-tenth of a percent lower than the previous month.
Job gains were concentrated in professional and business services. Hiring also grew in retail, hospitality and health care, while manufacturing saw no gains.
Government experts also say more jobs were created in February and March than first thought. But even with those gains, 11.7 million Americans are unemployed. More than four million of the jobless have been out of work for six months or longer.
The chairman of the President’s Council of Economic Advisors says the economy is continuing its recovery from the recession’s “deep hole.”
Alan Krueger said the recovery would go faster if Congress would repeal arbitrary government budget cuts and replace them with the Obama administration proposals for mixing cuts with efforts to promote manufacturing and boost jobs through spending on infrastructure.
The RATE Coalition, a business group, called the report a welcome exception to generally “soft economic growth.”
Analyst Heidi Shierholz of the Economic Policy Institute says the rate of job gains in the report is disappointing because it will take five years to get back to the pre-crisis level of unemployment..