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posted: 5/16/2013 4:40 AM

Employment picture is hardly rosy

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Employment picture is hardly rosy

As unemployment fell to 7.5 percent in April, its lowest level since December, 2008, the pool of available workers remains substantial. There are still 11.7 million Americans looking for work with 4.4 million of them searching for six months or more. More troubling are the 6.1 million 15- to 24-year-old Americans who are neither employed or studying.

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Many of those recent employment gains are in low paying service industry jobs. Employment of 31,000 temporary workers in the professional and business-services sectors added to the gains near term. A truer measure of the labor market actually took an unfavorable turn in April. Underemployment, which accounts for discouraged jobs seekers who quit looking for work and part-timers who want full time work, rose in April to 13.9 percent.

The workforce, likewise, has dropped to a participation rate of only 63.3 percent as Americans grow more and more dependent on government support programs including more than 11 million receiving disability payments and nearly 50 million on food stamps.

The potential is there for Americans to spur a global economic recovery. Before we can tap that potential we need to overcome impediments like a) excessive and wasteful government spending, b) worries about higher health care costs from Obama Care and other burdensome regulations, and c) reformation of our tax system relieving businesses of one of the highest tax rates in the world.

Let's allow this recovery to grow restoring leadership in government administration with accountability agency by agency. Let's encourage our elected officials to embrace sound fiscal policies. As the bureaucrats get out of the way and freedom is restored to our free enterprise system, Americans, especially our youth, can again look forward to a prosperous future.

Mike Tennis

Sleepy Hollow

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