Heritage Expert: Millions of Missing Workers Continue To Hurt The Economy

Heritage Expert: Millions of Missing Workers Continue To Hurt The Economy

Oct 7, 2022 1 min read

WASHINGTON—According to new numbers released on Friday, the economy added 263,000 jobs in September as the unemployment rate and labor force participation rate both edged down.  

Rachel Greszler, Heritage Foundation research fellow in economics, budget, and entitlements, released the following statement Friday in response to the numbers: 

“From day one, the Biden administration has been advancing policies that undermine work, diminish education alternatives, and close doors to flexible work options. It’s not surprising that there are 2.8 million fewer people working today than there would be if employment were at the same rate it was prior to the pandemic.  


“Fewer people working is a big reason why economic growth declined in the first half of 2022. Jobs were plentiful—as evidenced by businesses unable to fill open positions, shortages of goods and services, disrupted supply chains, and reduced public safety. If these 2.8 million Americans had been working and contributing to society, the economy likely would have grown instead of shrunk.  


“Policymakers need to rein in the federal spending that’s fueling inflation and discouraging Americans from returning to productive jobs. Since January 2021, the average worker’s annual wages increased $3,600 but inflation has eaten away $6,600 of value, leaving the average worker $3,000 poorer. Policymakers also need to expand education alternatives, encourage flexible work options, end welfare without work, and constrain out-of-control federal spending.” 

BACKGROUND: The U.S. economy has spiraled in the wrong direction since Biden took office in 2021, with out-of-control inflation, eroding household incomes, skyrocketing housing costs, and Americans bracing for a recession after gross domestic output shrunk in the first half of 2022. Current policies to spend more, tax more, regulate more, and produce less will only make labor shortages and inflation worse. Policymakers should minimize the severity of the recent economic downturn by removing government-imposed barriers to work and by getting the federal government’s fiscal house in order. 

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