Atlanta—Today, the Job Creators Network (JCN) highlighted that the January jobs report, released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows that 156,000 jobs were created last month and the unemployment rate remains low at 4.7 percent. Although the report includes positive numbers, there is still a troubling trend in the labor force participation rate (LFPR). President-elect Trump’s pick for Labor Secretary, Andy Puzder, not only understands how to improve job creation and the LFPR but also is a proven job creator himself as CEO of CKE Restaurants.
The report reveals a 62.7 LFPR, which is well below the pre-Great Recession historical average of 66 percent. The gap indicates a disconnect between the general unemployment rate and the real unemployment rate that captures those workers who have dropped out of the labor force—which comes out to 9.52 percent.
Although some of the reduced LFPR may be due to natural cycles—such as baby boomers retiring or more millennials going to college—the LFPR of “prime-age” workers between the ages of 25 and 54 is also hovering near a generational low. In fact, the unemployment rate including part-time and marginally attached workers is 9.2 percent.
The low LFPR undertow in the labor market belies what seems to be a relatively healthy economy. In order to fully bring the labor market back, over-regulation, over-taxation, and lack of access to credit need to be addressed.
Andy Puzder understands that jobs aren’t created from top-down government regulations—such as minimum wage or overtime mandates—but from economic expansion at the small business level. He will change the Labor Department from a barrier to a facilitator of job, wage, and economic growth–boosting the LFPR.
“There are systematic problems in the U.S. job market that aren’t clearly visible from looking at the general unemployment numbers,” said Alfredo Ortiz, president and CEO of the Job Creators Network. “By reducing the regulatory burden placed on small business job creators the labor force participation can return to healthy levels. Puzder understands the value of small business owners and what they can accomplish for the economy if the government’s regulatory restraints are removed.”