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Opening Statement of Vice Chairman Kevin Brady

January's Employment Situation Report

Feb 03 2012

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Commissioner Galvin, we welcome you in your new capacity to the Joint Economic Committee’s hearing on the employment situation.  Of course, we know you well from your appearances at prior employment hearings and as a dedicated BLS employee for many years.  We appreciate your service and look forward to your testimony.  We also welcome the members of your staff.

The labor market is not recovering fast enough considering how depressed it has been.  Thirty-one months into the Reagan recovery, we had added 8.7 million new payroll jobs.  Today, however, the economy, at best, is at a crawl.  We still are 6 million jobs short of the prerecession employment level; labor force participation is the lowest in decades; and yet unemployed workers still account for more than 8% of the shrunken workforce.

Whatever claims that President Obama makes about how much worse the recession could have been, his policies have not “stimulated” the economy.  We now have a huge federal debt, continuing large deficits, and sluggish growth.

More than 2 1/2 years have passed since the recession formally ended, yet real GDP growth is now expected to decline this year from a less-than-stellar 2.8% in the last quarter.  In contrast, we averaged 6.1% real GDP growth during the first 10 quarters of the Reagan recovery.  Business is hoarding cash as it still holds investments below pre-recession levels, and it still is not materially stepping up hiring, despite what the payroll job number says.....

 

See the full pdf of Vice Chairman Brady's opening statment below:

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