June 6, 2014
Below is a quick take on today’s jobs report from AFL-CIO Chief Economist William Spriggs who is available for interviews. Please direct any requests to Amaya Smith at 202-637-5018.
While payroll employment returned to its pre-Great Recession level of January 2008 public sector employment continues losing jobs, especially local public education. This drag in the public sector is a reminder of the need to increase public investment in hiring back teachers and rebuilding our sewers, roads and transportation systems. The share of Americans who are employed remains stuck below 59%, well below the 63.3% peak in March 2007 and 64.7% of April 2000. That difference represents the multi-million job gap needed. Wages have grown 2.1% over the year, just about even with inflation; little catch-up for the middle class. The minimum wage is now below 30% of the average wage, a record low; a reminder of the need to raise the minimum wage.