(ATLANTA, GA) Today’s tepid jobs report for September is just the latest reason why Americans spent the summer once again losing faith in the economy, say the CEOs of Job Creators Network. Noting that Gallup’s U.S. Economic Confidence Index dove toward double-digit negatives over the last three months, the CEOs say confidence will not be restored until regular job gains of 300,000 per month are sustained.
“Just a couple of nice jobs reports last winter caused economic optimism to rebound,” said Alfredo Ortiz, CEO of the Job Creators Network. “But we don’t have the right policies in place in Washington to sustain that growth or the faith of Americans in their economy.”
The U.S. Economic Confidence Index is a poll regarding how Americans view the current and future state of the economy. The score indicates the percentage point margin between Americans with positive and negative estimates. Last week, the margin was -13. It shot sharply upward late last December, following monthly job growth reports averaging more than 350,000 for November and December of 2014, allowing the Index to temporarily creep into positive territory for the first time since it was created in 2008. Monthly job growth has averaged well under 250,000 since then, with this morning’s report showing 142,000 jobs created for September.
“We’re moving toward eight years of solid pessimism,” continued Ortiz. “Americans aren’t seeing prosperity return on payday and they’re not seeing it in the policies coming out of Washington.”
Ortiz argues one reason for the pessimism is that millions of workers have just given up. The labor force participation rate for 25-54 year olds has declined by two full percentage points since 2008. This means an additional 2.5 million people in the prime earning years of their lives aren’t participating in the economy, yet not showing up in the unemployment figures.
“The Affordable Care Act, the unprecedented new EPA regulations, numerous examples of government overreach from the National Labor Relations Board, and a blizzard of other job killing policies are driving a wedge between millions of forgotten workers and prosperity,” concluded Ortiz. “Americans aren’t positive about jobs because we’re not creating enough of them, and we’re not doing that because we’re letting Washington get in the way.”