Great Jobs News (for Carrier Employees), but November BLS Report Bad News for Others

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

December 2, 2016
A Merry Christmas for these Carrier employees and hundreds of their co-workers.

On the rosy side, President-elect Donald Trump saved 1,000 jobs at the Carrier plant in Indiana. Still, Trump’s critics rail against him with sour grapes crony capitalism charges. Austan Goolsbee, a former Obama economic advisor and once the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, told Fox News host Megyn Kelly that Trump “paid” Carrier to keep the jobs in Indiana.

But on the same show, two Carrier employees with a combined 30 years of experience expressed deep gratitude to Trump for making good on his campaign promise to prevent the company from sending their jobs to Mexico. Their personal stories showed their relief that they still have jobs.

The first, a married man with two children, said that since Trump saved his job, he wouldn’t be forced to accept lower-paying employment, and therefore possibly lose his home. The second, also married with two kids, said he was heartbroken when Carrier told him it was eliminating his job. But when he heard that Trump kept his commitment, he was “ecstatic.”

Less fortunate Americans.

Trump spared more than 1,000 from economic uncertainty and domestic upheaval. Assuming most of the workers are married, and have an average of two children, as many as 4,000 people can breathe a collective sigh of relief. Include too the local teachers, merchants and doctors who provide services for those families, and even more people are spared from economic disruption.

But the weak November BLS report reflected a broader and dismal labor picture. The 178,000 new jobs added is inadequate on its face. But since ten times as many of the positions created were part-time and not full-time, the labor market is even grimmer than it seems at first glance. A record 95.1 million Americans are not in the labor force, a 446,000 jump from October. The labor force participation rate dropped to 62.7 percent, just a tick above October 2015’s all-time low of 62.4 percent.


With so few good jobs available, Americans must get the first shot at them.


Go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to tell your representatives to pass E-Verify in the next Congress. Trump delivered on his promise with Carrier, and E-Verify would help him fulfill his pledge to protect American jobs.

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