GOP Rep Says Economy Still Doomed, Obama Hints At Executive Action

Republican Rep. Kevin Brady said reports of job growth and a falling unemployment rate don't change the fact that Americans continue to deal with stagnant wages and struggle to find full-time work.

"Unless Americans are willing to settle for less economic opportunity than the generation before us, we need to focus on building a business climate that encourages faster growth," Brady, top House Republican on the Joint Economic Committee, said in a statement Thursday.

The unemployment rate dropped from 5.8 percent to 5.6 percent in December, and 250,000 new jobs were added, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. The White House boasted that that makes 58 straight months of job growth — the longest streak on record — and 11.2 million jobs. (RELATED: White House Tells Congress Not To Screw Up Economic Gains)

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"This week, the President has been laying out his vision to build on this progress by increasing access to community college, supporting the recovery in the housing sector and investing in U.S. manufacturing," Jason Furman, chief economic adviser to the president, said in a statement. The president "looks forward to working with Congress and taking action on his own authority," he added, including to close tax loopholes, raise the minimum wage and invest in infrastructure.

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Despite the strong job growth, wages fell by 5 cents after increasing in November, and almost 40 percent of Americans are not working.

"Fewer Americans were in the workforce last month, with the labor participation rate falling to 62.7% – again reaching the multi-decade lows that have plagued the Obama recovery," Brady added. "While the unemployment rate has fallen it doesn't tell the true story about stagnant paychecks and Americans struggling to find full-time work."


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