Reporting Tim Kephart
Legislative Session Coverage
MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The national unemployment rate dropped to its lowest level in three years, but the news wasn’t all good as job growth slowed to a point that could signal a stagnation of job creation.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported Friday the national unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent, which was the lowest rate since before President Barack Obama took office in 2009.
But, the decline was primarily because 342,000 people left the work force. The number of employed people in the nation fell by 169,000, meaning while the White House can take credit for the unemployment rate, Republicans can still say the president isn’t doing enough to create jobs.
Republican Mitt Romney pounced on the report saying it was “terrible and very disappointing.” The White House took a different approach saying that it’s “critical that we continue the economic policies that are helping us dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began at the end of 2007.
The three-month average of job growth has been roughly 170,000 jobs per month, according to the Huffington Post. The number will keep the jobless rate from growing, but not enough to build momentum to gaining more jobs.
Part of the problem lies in businesses refusing to pay employees anything extra. The BLS said hourly earnings have risen by just 1.8 percent over the past year, which isn’t even enough to keep up with inflation.
So, while corporate profits, executive pay, and worker productivity is soaring, the workers are not reaping any of the rewards of the extra work.