On Friday, President Barack Obama’s Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Alan B. Krueger took a victory lap of sorts after the Labor Department’s jobs report showed the U.S. added 165,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in April.
“Today’s employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover,” said Krueger.
But behind Friday’s Labor Department figures lies a stark economic reality: America remains in a downward jobs spiral.
Consider the following: according to the Labor Department, the U.S. added 165,000 jobs in April, but to return to pre-recession employment levels, the U.S. would need to add 208,000 jobs a month over seven years.
The government officially recognizes 11.7 million individuals as being unemployed. But as the New York Times notes, including “those who are underemployed—that is, adding in those workers who are part-time but want to be employed full time, and workers who want to work but are not looking—brings the total up to 21.9 million."