Despite draconian Republican efforts to tank the economy and impose austerity on the people for the benefit of the top 2%, April was a banner month. 165,000 jobs were created according to the Labor Department, and unemployment fell to a 4-year low. Things are looking better than previously thought, with revisions showing that in February, a whopping 332,000 jobs were added.
Economists were predicting just 150,000 jobs this month, so the numbers coming from the Bureau of Labor Statistics are a welcome surprise.
Employment increased in professional and business services, food services and drinking places, retail trade, and health care. The job gains brought the unemployment rate to a four-year low of 7.5%, and unemployment has decreased by 673,000 since January.
The Revisions for March and February are also impressive gains: March went from 88,000 to 138,000, while February’s already strong 268,000 surged to 332,000. Yes, 332,000 jobs in February. The news inspired confidence on Wall Street, and the market is responding with the Dow surging toward 15,000.
It should be noted that an alternative rate, which also counts those who have quit looking or are underemployed, rose to 13.9 percent, so all is definitely not well. Imagine where we could be without the spectre of the sequester cuts hanging over us. We need Congress to work on jobs, and by jobs, we don’t mean tax cuts for the rich.
Republicans have not been successful in deterring growth for the last few months, but not for lack of effort. There are still many months left in the year, and since House Republicans show no indication of being willing to sit down for budget reconciliation talks and are already making noise about another debt ceiling showdown, trouble is always just one tantrum away.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.