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Another View: U.S. economy continues to underperform

Published: Thursday, March 13, 2014 9:40 p.m. CDT

February’s job creation figures released recently by the Bureau of Labor Statistics underline the continuing pathetic state of the American job market.

New jobs for the month numbered a middling 175,000, but the three-month average including January and normally vigorous December activity was a pale 121,000.

The unemployment rate was 6.7 percent, masking a 203,000-person increase in long-term joblessness among Americans, a number now standing at 3.8 million. Wild-eyed optimists, perhaps seeking to jack up the stock market, proposed that the February figure would have been higher if the weather had been better in parts of the country.

It is clear that drastic action needs to be taken if the situation of high unemployment, lowering quality of jobs and low, stagnant pay is no longer to persist in an economy that has been in recession since 2008.

President Barack Obama’s cheerleading on the subject, or Democratic efforts to blame it on the Republicans, or vice versa, should be of no satisfaction to Americans.

Whether the Federal Reserve Bank continues to hand lollipops or tapers them, in the form of quantitative easing to America’s banks to fatten their uninvested reserves or to increase the bonuses they pay the rich people who run them is also of no major interest to Americans who want to work, or who want to be paid a living wage for the work they do.

These latest job figures support a contention that serious action needs to be taken by federal and state leaders and legislatures to tackle the problem.

The fact that many of them will be busy this year pursuing money from the nonjob-creators to finance their reelections serves as a clear message to taxpayers to turn them out of office in the primaries and in November, based on their far-inadequate performance in the face of an employment crisis.

– Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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