WASHINGTON—February’s unemployment report showed that despite the economy adding 678,000 jobs, the number of jobs now is still 2.1 million fewer than February 2020, as millions of people have not returned to the labor force.
Rachel Greszler, Heritage Foundation research fellow in economics, budget, and entitlements, released the following statement Friday on the latest numbers:
“Work is fundamental to American society and human flourishing, but the Biden administration’s economic policies continue to undermine both. Even as President Biden touts these numbers, the reality is that employment should be significantly higher today.
“This administration’s policies have discouraged Americans from working, leaving American businesses with 10.9 million job openings they can’t fill. This drop in labor participation—particularly among work-capable adults without children—is a troubling trend that will only exacerbate America’s fiscal crisis. More immediately, the labor shortage is driving up inflation and causing delays—even life-threatening limits on access to health care.
“Instead of pushing some version of the so-called Build Back Better Act that will worsen labor shortage problems, Congress should eliminate the many government disincentives that make work unattractive and remove government-imposed barriers that prevent employers from providing workers with real wage gains—ones that won’t be eaten away by inflation.”