Today’s disappointing jobs report shows that labor market conditions continue to improve only at a glacial pace compared with what’s needed to restore employment to normal levels. Unemployment remains too high and the share of the population with a job remains depressed at levels last seen in the 1980s (see chart). Under these conditions, it’s disappointing that the Federal Reserve will likely begin tapering off its asset purchases (known as “quantitative easing”); it’s absolutely appalling that lawmakers have not enacted a balanced alternative to the sequestration budget cuts that would take effect only when the economy is stronger.
Below are some charts to show how the new figures look in historical context. Check here for my full statement with further analysis.