On the first Friday of each month around 8:30 a.m., you can find a number of reporters, lawmakers, bureaucrats, and economists clicking refresh on their computer browser or checking their email nonstop. What they’re waiting for is a monthly report from the Department of Labor that lays out the nation’s employment statistics for the month before. And the numbers look good. All in all, we saw another positive and promising jobs report for the month of June.
It’s no secret that American business owners are innovative, and thanks to a strong economy and pro-growth policies coming out of Congress, many are creating jobs in communities across the country. In June, 213,000 jobs were added to the economy. Small businesses are hiring at record levels, last month hitting the highest level in 19 years. The manufacturing industry alone added 36,000 jobs.
At the same time, the unemployment rate in June rose slightly from 3.8 percent to 4 percent. But that’s not cause for alarm. In fact, it’s for the best reason possible: more Americans are entering the workforce. The labor force actually increased by more than 600,000 people, upping the labor force participation rate, which reflects how many Americans are working or looking for a job, to 62.9 percent. They’ve seen the opportunities that are available, and folks who had previously stopped looking for a job have decided to start looking again.
The reforms put into place under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act continue to bring good news for families, and are helping put money back in the pockets of Americans from all walks of life. Streamlining federal red tape and injecting common sense back into the regulatory process has also played an important role in creating a pro-jobs environment. But, it doesn’t stop with that. There is more Congress can do to build on this positive economic momentum.
An economy that creates jobs is a great thing, but we also need to make sure there are qualified workers to fill them. Last year, the House passed bipartisan legislation to help strengthen and support career and technical education programs, which still awaits action in the Senate. Career and technical education is helping to bridge career paths for many students and adults in the Sixth District. Investing in workforce development, whether it’s welding or computer programming, is a challenge our country must address, and an opportunity that we cannot afford to miss. As more legislation to address some of the biggest challenges of our day makes its way through Congress, you can follow along online at better.gop.
The American people are seeing jobs, opportunity, and confidence come roaring back. That’s a good thing for all us.
Congressman Bob Goolatte