PRESS RELEASE: Heartland Institute Experts React to July 2017 Jobs Report

Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its July 2017 Employment Situation Summary. The report states that in July, the United States added 209,000 new jobs and the unemployment rate remained stable at 4.3 percent.

The following statements from budget and tax experts at The Heartland Institute – a free-market think tank – may be used for attribution. For more comments, refer to the contact information below. To book a Heartland guest on your program, please contact Media Specialist Billy Aouste at [email protected] and 312/377-4000 or (cell) 847/445-7554.

“These new employment numbers show that Trump’s economic program is already working for all Americans, but especially his blue-collar base. Too bad that is not understood by the Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN, and the Democrats, who the voters can get out of the way next year, turning Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer into the Senate Very Minority Leader.”

Peter Ferrara
Senior Fellow for Entitlement and Budget Policy
The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The U.S. Department of Labor’s July 2017 jobs report is encouraging news! About 209,000 new jobs were created in July, beating expectations by about 26,000 jobs. More people are getting back to work and finding jobs, and more people are employed now than at any time over the past six years.

“If the economic recovery from years of malaise is to continue, Congress needs to buckle down and work with President Trump to enact the bold tax reforms Washington, DC promised the American people in 2016. Lawmakers need to put aside the day-to-day distractions and bickering, and work together for the common good for all Americans.

“The American people are working hard, and it’s time for our elected officials in Washington, DC to do the same.”

Jesse Hathaway
Research Fellow, Budget and Tax Policy
The Heartland Institute
Managing Editor, Budget & Tax News
[email protected]

“Since Donald Trump took office, the unemployment rate has fallen from 4.8 percent to 4.3 percent, and the labor force participation rate has remained steady. While the unemployment rate might be seem to indicate we have reached full employment, the participation rate indicates there is room to grow.

“From a peak of about 67 percent in 1999, labor force participation has fallen three percentage points. About half of this change is due to identifiable changes in the population (we’re getting older). But participation remains low compared to where it should be by 1 or 2 percentage points.

“Sustaining the current improvements to the economy and extending opportunities to more of our people may require changes in health care, local minimum wage laws, and enforcement of the time limits built into parts of our social safety net. These changes would free employers to expand payrolls, creating full-time jobs with benefits and pay increases and motivating people to find full-time employment.

Clifford Thies
Eldon R. Lindsey Chair of Free Enterprise
Professor of Economics and Finance
Shenandoah University
[email protected]

“I think the strong employment report reflects a rebound of the economy from the campaign season and the underlying economic expansion that is taking us closer to high-employment conditions. The next leg of this expansion will require faster increases in business investment that are more likely to occur with the stimulus caused by lower tax rates and tax reform.  

“The July employment report released in August was stronger than expected and continued to reflect the continuing economic expansion. Payroll employment expanded 209,000 in July, slightly below the average monthly gain since last November, but much faster than the 162,400 average monthly gain over the previous eight months. The rebound from the campaign season is expected to slow somewhat, however, in the coming months.

“The unemployment rate fell back to its June level of 4.3 percent, a level consistent with high employment conditions. For the past year, payroll employment has expanded 1.9 percent, the same as the gain in the previous year. The decline in the unemployment rate over the past two years has been about 0.4 percent per year, reflecting tightening labor market conditions. In 2014–15, the annual declines were faster, at about 1 percentage point per year, in line with the faster pace of payroll employment growth.

“As employment approaches high-employment conditions, improvements in labor force participation have slowed. In July 2017, the share of the civilian population that is working or searching for work was 62.9 percent, the same as it was in July 2014. This rate has been fairly steady at the recent level for nearly four years.”

John A. Tatom
Fellow, Institute for Applied Economics, Global Health, and the Study of Business Enterprise
John Hopkins University
Policy Advisor, The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The new jobs report and bullish stock market are clear signs that both big and small business have been overregulated and overtaxed for too long.  Regardless of negative perceptions of President Trump’s tweets, positive profit expectations trump all other concerns.”

Russ McCullough
Wayne Angell Chair of Economics, Ottawa University
Policy Advisor, The Heartland Institute
[email protected]

“The purpose of business is not to create jobs but to create the goods and services that improve everyone’s quality of life. If government gets out of the way and allows entrepreneurs and businesses to purse this purpose in an unimpeded way, job creation will take care of itself.”

Roy Cordato
Senior Economist and Resident Scholar, The John Locke Foundation
Policy Advisor, The Heartland Institute
[email protected]