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Morici: What to Expect From Friday's Jobs Report

Going forward, the December termination of federal support for unemployment benefits administered by the states in excess of the customary 26 weeks will likely help depress the unemployment rate. The experience of North Carolina, which ended long-term benefits in July, indicates many adults will cease actively looking for work and not be counted in federal jobless statistics.

That experience does raise serious questions about the need for long-term assistance among many who have been collecting benefits, especially given that extended unemployment benefits raise wages demanded, generally, and discourages hiring on a broad scale.

Factoring in part-time employees who would prefer full-time work and discouraged adults, the jobless rate is 13.1%.

Getting headline unemployment down to 6% while employing those folks at the margins of the labor market would require about 365,000 jobs each month for three years. That would require growth about double the pace accomplished since the economic recovery began and during the George W. Bush expansion.

It bears noting Presidents Reagan and Clinton accomplished more robust growth and jobs creation with lighter regulations, lower taxes, less emphasis on entitlement programs and fewer efforts to suppress criticism of their administrations' policies.

Both capitalized on the dynamic opportunities offered by new technologies and private initiative by encouraging robust public debate about appropriate directions for public policy, as opposed to tolerating efforts to quiet their voices through law enforcement and muffle dissent through the administration of the tax laws.

Throughout the world, over and over again, new technology and private initiative have instigated more growth and created more good paying jobs when debate is untethered by fears of retribution and is unsettling to those in power.

 

This article represents the opinion of a contributor and not necessarily that of TheStreet or its editorial staff.

Professor Peter Morici, of the Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, is a recognized expert on economic policy and international economics. Prior to joining the university, he served as director of the Office of Economics at the U.S. International Trade Commission. He is the author of 18 books and monographs and has published widely in leading public policy and business journals, including the Harvard Business Review and Foreign Policy. Morici has lectured and offered executive programs at more than 100 institutions, including Columbia University, the Harvard Business School and Oxford University. His views are frequently featured on CNN, CBS, BBC, FOX, ABC, CNBC, NPR, NPB and national broadcast networks around the world.
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