April 7, 2017
Atlanta—Today, the Job Creators Network (JCN) highlighted the low unemployment rate—dropping from 4.7 percent last month to 4.5 percent—released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics. However, the report also reveals that only 98,000 jobs were created in March—which was partially expected due to the creation of over 200,000 jobs in the two previous months. However, even with the low unemployment rate, wages only increased by 0.19 percent.
The report’s positive unemployment rate is a good sign for the U.S. economy. It reveals that although the job creation numbers are underwhelming, the unemployment is the lowest it has been since the Great Recession. So now that the jobs market is on relatively stable footing, policymakers should pivot their focus to stagnate wages that are plaguing average Americans.
Part of the problem is the jobs that provide good middle-class wages are not being filled.
In fact, there are currently three million good paying job openings in this country waiting to be filled—the candidates just need to have the right skill set. This can be achieved through job or vocational training program expansions, as well as keeping the pathways open for young people to get on-the-job experience as entry level employees.
To further this pursuit, JCN has launched the Fight for $50 campaign—as in fighting for $50,000 careers, not job killing $15 mandates. By equipping people with the necessary skills and allowing them to gain job experience, those people who are currently unemployed or underemployed can get good jobs paying $50,000 or more a year.
“With the low unemployment rate, it’s time to focus on raising wages for ordinary Americans” said Alfredo Ortiz, the President and CEO of the Job Creators Network. “We all agree that this country needs higher wages, but we differ on what path will best achieve that goal. Increasing the minimum wage will not raise wages overall–as advocates say–but will remove the bottom rung of the career ladder so that young people will have a hard time gaining the vital job experience needed to attain higher-paying careers in the future. If we instead focus on keeping those opportunities open, young people can gain the necessary skills, wages will rise and those 3 million jobs that require semi-skilled workers will be filled.”