Washington, D.C. — Today, Center for American Progress Economist issued the following reaction to the announcement of February’s employment figures:
Employment growth rebounded in February proving economists wrong that people can work despite the cold and snow. Job growth is trending in the right direction, although still short of what is needed to return the U.S. labor market to full employment or drive real wage gains in the near future.
Rather than the effect of unusually harsh winter weather many expected, it is the unusually harsh conservatives in Congress who are keeping job growth from its full potential by cutting aggregate demand at a time when we have a $700 billion demand shortfall in the economy. Most recently, conservatives blocked a bipartisan effort to reauthorize emergency unemployment compensation that expired in late December.
As of today, more than 2 million long-term job seekers and their families have been cut off from benefits, and another 72,000 will join their ranks each week that Congress fails to act. By extending benefits, Congress can boost job creation and expand economic growth while providing much needed assistance to those families struggling with long-term unemployment.