Keith Hall, a senior research fellow at the Mercatus Center at George Mason University and former BLS Commissioner, responded to today’s jobs report:
“While not a step backwards, today’s report is the weakest of 2014. An unfortunate side effect of this kind of slowdown is that it may continue to discourage people from looking for work at a time when participation in the labor force remains below pre-recession levels. Until we have stronger participation in the workforce, it seems unlikely we will see a full economic recovery.
“One bit of good news in this report is the slight increase in construction jobs, which is an encouraging sign of people planning for the future. The next few reports will be critical to watch and see if this report is just a blip in an otherwise strong year, or the beginning of a downward trend.”