Jobs Report Shows Persistent Weakness in Economy

Generational-low labor force participation rate indicates that unemployment rate driven by people dropping out of labor force

September 2, 2016

ATLANTA – Today, the Job Creators Network (JCN) highlighted that the August jobs report, released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows persistence weakness in the economy. The report finds that 151,000 jobs were created last month and the unemployment rate remained at 4.9.

It also found that the labor force participation rate remained at 62.8, remaining at a generational low, and well below the historical pre-Great Recession average of 66 percent, indicating that the drop in the unemployment rate has been driven by people dropping out of the labor force, not finding work.

Importantly, the LFPR of “prime-age” workers between the age of 25 and 54 also hasn’t recovered from the Great Recession, indicating that the fall in the LFPR is not driven baby boomers retiring or more Millennials attending college. In fact, the unemployment rate including part-time and marginally attached workers is 9.7 percent.

This jobs report comes on the heels of the news that the economy only grew by 1.2 percent in the second quarter of the year, making this the slowest economic start to a year since 2011. Economic growth since the end of the Great Recession has been about 50 percent less than the historical average.

“To get a true indication of the economy you have to dig past the topline number of today’s jobs report to see the historically low labor force participation rate — including the low labor force participation of prime age workers,” said Ed Rensi, former CEO of McDonald’s and Famous Dave’s. “When you do that you see that the economy is still not providing opportunity for everyone, something that policymakers must address by reducing the tax and regulatory burdens on small businesses.”

JCN recently embarked on a nationwide bus tour to highlight the threats to small businesses, which drive the nation’s economy, and identify solutions to overcome them. On Monday, it held an event in Denver featuring Rep. Mike Coffman (R-CO).

Rep. Randy Hultgren (R-IL) recently announced the Bring Small Businesses Back Tax Reform Act (H.R. 5374), which would reduce the tax burden on the nation’s small business job creators. U.S. small businesses account for half the nation’s jobs and two-thirds of its new jobs. The proposed legislation would lower the tax rate on pass-through businesses’ first $150,000 worth of income to 10 percent. And it would lower the rate on income between $150,000 and $1 million to 20 percent. According to a nationwide poll, 82 percent of the population support the reforms proposed in this bill.

In a nationwide poll of small businesses commissioned by JCN earlier this year, two-thirds of respondents identified over-taxation as preventing their businesses from thriving. As a result of over-taxation, the survey also found that only one in five small business owners plan to hire additional employees over the next year, and only around one-quarter believe that doing business over the next year will be easier than the previous one.

Read the full text of the Bring Small Businesses Back Tax Reform Act here. View the poll results here. Read the white paper JCN released earlier this year assessing the state of American small businesses here. Find out more information about the campaign at DefendMainStreet.com.

To schedule an interview, contact Andrew Ransom at [email protected] or(916) 258-2396.

The Job Creators Network (JCN) is the voice of real job creators that has been missing from the debate on jobs and our economic crisis. JCN members talk about paychecks, not politics, helping the public and policymakers understand how to create jobs. For more information, please visit www.JobCreatorsNetwork.com