The Bureau of Labor Statistics just announced the U.S. economy created 235,000 jobs in February, slightly higher than most experts expected and much higher than President Barack Obama’s 187,000 average in 2016.
But while the unemployment rate remained at a low 4.7 percent, the labor force participation rate, which measures the number of people leaving the workforce entirely, was also low, at a discouraging 63 percent.
This shows that many people are still not finding job opportunities abundant enough to encourage them to seek work.
Also of concern is that 24 percent of those unemployed continue to spend 27 weeks or more on unemployment. While this number has dropped in recent months, it still communicates a weak recovery from the 2008-2009 recession.
In addition, the number of discouraged workers marginally attached to the workforce has not changed from a year ago.
What these job numbers show is that there is still much more work to be done, and the Trump administration should act immediately to spur even greater job growth.
Through cutting unnecessary regulation, manufacturers will be able to spend more money on growing, hiring new people, and producing more.
The National Association of Manufacturers estimates that manufactures spend $2 trillion annually on regulatory compliance—that’s an average of $10,000 per employee. Wouldn’t it be great if some of that could go into wages or lower prices instead?
While the Trump administration has taken steps to limit regulations, more needs to be done to combat time and resources wasted on compliance with inane or only marginally useful mandates.
We should not stop at regulations. Congress should put in the hard work to deliver meaningful tax reform for our economy. Let’s start with cutting the corporate tax rate, which is the highest in the world.
It’s not just Republicans who have admitted we need to cut the corporate rate, by the way. Even Obama acknowledged this in last year’s budget when he proposed cutting the corporate rate from 40 percent to 28 percent. (To be fair, he accompanied this with several additional foolish tax increases, but nevertheless the sentiment was there).
In addition to tax reform, we must pursue trade policies that enable U.S. job-makers to find the best raw materials and intermediate goods at the best prices, making America an attractive place for domestic and foreign investment.
It all matters, and so long as we keep government interference to a minimum, our economy will grow, and so will our jobs.
If a strong jobs report is something you believe in, we know the formula for it. Go make it happen.