Why Some Americans Don't Believe the Economy Is Getting Better
The U.S. added 295,000 jobs in February, the 12th consecutive month in which the U.S. added more than 200,000 jobs, the strongest period of job growth in a decade and a half.
The headline unemployment rate was 5.5%, its lowest level in six years, according to data released Friday by the Labor Department.
Despite the better-than-expected news, 92.9 million people were counted as having left the workforce. The labor participation rate is stuck at 62.8%, a 37-year low, and has remained right around that point since last April.
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) reacted by saying that middle-class families are being left behind.
"Most Americans aren’t seeing the positive economic news translate into improvements in their daily lives," he said.
The White House touted today's report while admitting "additional steps are needed to continue strengthening wages for the middle class."
Fox Business Network's Stuart Varney called the numbers "solid" overall, but not indicative of a "robust recovery that is going to rescue middle America."
Bill Hemmer asked him why the labor participation rate is not going up.
"Large numbers of people think that there is not enough opportunity in this economy to go back into the labor force," Varney explained.
He said the Dow is lower today because the Federal Reserve could choose to raise interest rates as the jobs numbers improve.
In a new Fox News Poll, Americans are still split on whether the economy is improving, with 43% saying it's getting worse. Americans are more optimistic, however, than they were in March 2014.
Meantime, far more believe that the government's polices are failing the middle class.
The "Outnumbered" panel took on the issue today, with FBN host Melissa Francis highlighting the fact that "wages are lagging."
"The jobs that have come back are at the high end and at the low end," said Francis, explaining that the "middle-class jobs with a decent wage to pay your mortgage and for your kids' college" have evaporated.
Watch the full discussion above and let us know your take: are you seeing evidence of an improving economy in your life?
Catch "Outnumbered," weekdays at 12p ET on Fox News and see Melissa Francis, weekdays at 2p ET on "Money" over on FBN.