Labor president says December rate “welcome news,” but says increase in employment figures “not enough” to close gap from recession.
Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka
on December Jobs Report
January 7, 2011
The drop in December’s unemployment rate is welcome news, as is the continued growth in private sector jobs. Unfortunately net new job growth remains inadequate to make a dent in long-term unemployment or to repair the structural shortcomings in our economy. Net job growth is still not enough to accommodate our growing population, let alone close the 11-million job gap left by the Bush recession. And the news of the unemployment rate falling to 9.4 percent is tempered by the drop of 260,000 in labor force participation, leaving us with lower labor force participation and fewer people in the labor force than before the recession started – despite working-age population growth of about 4 million during this period
Without a bold and committed investment in job creation and infrastructure modernization, we will see paltry job growth indefinitely. The cuts being proposed by Republicans in Washington and around the country including undermining Social Security and Medicare and cutting transportation spending are the wrong remedies at the wrong time and threaten our economic future. We need dramatic action to invest in America and give states and cities breathing room to prevent further layoffs and create jobs. Only then will our economy see the robust and sustained recovery we need to put millions of Americans back to work.