The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported last week that the nation gained 248,000 jobs in September, dropping the unemployment rate to 5.9 percent. It’s the first time the jobless rate has dipped below 6 percent since mid-2008. While economists and investors were encouraged by the report, their enthusiasm was tempered by data showing that wages have remained stagnant. Harry Holzer, a former chief economist for the U.S. Department of Labor and a professor of public policy at Georgetown University, explains the numbers.
Rivlin says spending may actually have been too restrained in recent years, and the government should be spending more on programs that would boost overall productivity.
“We ought to be investing more heavily in infrastructure and skills and training – we need that for the future,” Rivlin says. “I think we’re been over austere in restricting the kinds of investments that we need to grow faster in the future.”
A party controlling the White House could not ask for much more from economic numbers than the Democrats got in Friday’s jobs report, issued a month and a day before the midterm elections. Unemployment fell to 5.9 percent, the lowest it has been since July 2008. The nation added 248,000 jobs, more than the forecasters had projected. What’s not to like?
New York Times columnist David Brooks and Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne join Judy Woodruff to discuss the week’s news, including conflict over President Obama’s strategy to rule out the possibility of using ground troops against the Islamic State, what Hillary Clinton’s visit to Iowa says about her likelihood of running for president and who has the momentum ahead of November elections.