WASHINGTON—The January unemployment report showed that the unemployment rate rose to 4% as the number of people entering (or re-entering) the workforce expanded more than the number of jobs added. The number of jobs today is still 2.9 million fewer than February 2020.
Heritage Foundation research fellow Joel Griffith released the following statement Friday, calling out the government policies that have discouraged Americans from returning to work:
“President Biden tries to take credit for what he perceives to be good news, but never takes responsibility for the bad news—of which there is no shortage lately. Our nation has a record 10.9 million job openings and 1.7 million more jobs available. We don’t have a lack of work but a lack of willing workers. Labor force participation—the number of Americans working or looking for work—is just 62.2%, one of the lowest levels since 1977, and nearly 3 million of the jobs lost during the pandemic still remain lost.
“What’s to blame are welfare handouts that don’t require any effort to get back to work, COVID vaccine mandates that have cost Americans their jobs, continuing COVID restrictions making it difficult for some businesses to operate, and repeated school closures that disrupt work schedules for parents.
“Washington has spent the past year spending massive amounts of taxpayer dollars while trying to micromanage the American economy with little success. Our national debt is at an unprecedented $30 trillion. We cannot sustain any of this, and the consequences are only going to get worse for working Americans in the coming days. The Biden administration and Congress need to stop their reckless spending, roll back unnecessary regulations, and help Americans truly get back to work.”
Learn more about how policymakers can start fighting inflation.