Another Jobs Report, Another Disappointment

Unemployed workers line up at a state office in California (public domain photo via FEMA)
Unemployed workers line up at a state office in California (public domain photo via FEMA)

The headlines today don’t tell the whole story. While 223,000 new jobs in April sound like a positive development for our economy, the cold, harsh reality is that millions of Americans are still struggling to find work—and those who are lucky enough to be working are facing stagnant wages amidst rising prices.

It is disingenuous to say that the unemployment rate is truly 5.4 percent. That number fails to account for those who have given up looking for work—a cohort that is now higher than it has ever been before. When you add those people to the equation, the unemployment number is much closer to 11 percent.

The workforce participation rate, just 62.8 percent, is hovering near its lowest level since the late 1970s. Even among the prime 25-54 age group, the number remains unfathomably low. That means that millions of Americans have simply given up trying to find a job—no wonder the unemployment rate has fallen.

Where’s the recovery for these unemployed workers?  Once again, the current discretionary monetary policy of the Federal Reserve System has failed to provide a sustained boost to our economy, creating only uncertainty. The Fed obviously doesn’t know what to do from here. The market is unsure what to expect.

There has to be a better way to conduct monetary policy. Congress must introduce and pass the Monetary Commission bill. Americans deserve equitable prosperity, not growing economic disparity. Let’s fix the dollar.

Steve Lonegan is the Director of Monetary Policy for American Principles in Action.