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20,000 Jobs Lost in January

According to recent unemployment reports, an additional 20,000 jobs were lost in January. Despite this loss, the unemployment rate declined from 10 percent to 9.7 percent. It is important to note that the unemployment rate does not account for any discouraged potential workers who are not actively seeking unemployment. More than half a million discouraged workers have left the job market in the past few months. 

According to Obama, the January job reports were: 

a cause for hope.

However, it seems that the only ones that should be hopeful about their future job prospects are those seeking federal government employment. Tad DeHaven, a scholar at the Cato Institute, explains that:

According to the president’s new budget, federal civilian employment in the executive branch will be 15 percent higher in 2011 than it was in 2007.

Federal Employment Growth

In addition, DeHaven includes that: 

Instead of fostering private sector growth, the administration is fostering government growth at the expense of the private sector.

This trend is unsustainable. Americans cannot afford to lose 20,000 jobs every month. In order to reverse the current economic downturn, the focus needs to be on creating private-sector jobs. The Heritage Foundation has suggestions on how Congress can spur private-sector job growth:

Strongly consider repealing Section 404 of the Sarbanes–Oxley Act, a provision that substantially raises business costs for little economic benefit.

Relax limitations on domestic energy development. 

Remove prevailing wage restrictions on government construction contractors to immediately create 160,000 new construction jobs.

Reform the tort system to reduce the unnecessary drag it places on the economy. The direct cost of unnecessary litigation drains $130 billion from the economy each year, with indirect costs being far higher.

An additional 20,000 Americans losing their jobs in one month is nothing to be hopeful about.  Since the recession began, in December 2007, Americans have lost a total of 8.4 million jobs. Private-sector job growth must be stimulated through lowering taxes and decreasing excessive government spending.