Jobs Reax from the Left

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Goolsbee: “The monthly employment and unemployment numbers are volatile and employment estimates are subject to substantial revision. Therefore, as the Administration always stresses, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report.”

Trumka: “Deep budget cuts threaten our economic security by giving up on promises made to seniors and the future for our children. … This is a time for bold action.”

Statement by CEA Chairman Austan Goolsbee on the Employment Situation in May

The Employment Situation in May
Posted by Austan Goolsbee on June 03, 2011

Today’s employment report shows that private sector payrolls increased by 83,000 in May and the unemployment rate ticked up to 9.1 percent. There are always bumps on the road to recovery, but the overall trajectory of the economy has improved dramatically over the past two years.

While the private sector has added more than 2.1 million jobs over the past 15 months, the unemployment rate is unacceptably high and faster growth is needed to replace the jobs lost in the downturn. The initiatives put in place by this Administration – such as the payroll tax cut and business incentives for investment – have contributed to solid employment growth overall this year, but this report is a reminder of the challenges that remain. We are focused on promoting exports, reducing regulatory burdens and making the investments in education, research and development, and infrastructure that will grow our economy and create jobs. We will continue to work with Congress to responsibly reduce the deficit and live within our means.

Overall payroll employment rose by 54,000 in May. Solid employment increases occurred in professional and business services (+44,000) and education and health services (+34,000). Sectors with employment declines included local government (-28,000), retail trade (-8,500), and manufacturing (-5,000). Despite the decline this month, manufacturing has added 238,000 jobs since the beginning of 2010, the best period of manufacturing job growth in over a decade.

The monthly employment and unemployment numbers are volatile and employment estimates are subject to substantial revision. Therefore, as the Administration always stresses, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report.

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on May Employment

The gain of a meager 54,000 jobs in May is a sign of real danger for working families and for the recovery. The private sector added only 83,000 jobs, less than a third of the average of recent months and far too few to absorb new entrants into the labor force, let alone bring down unemployment. The government shed another 28,000 jobs because of layoffs by state and local governments and deep budget cuts. Nearly two years into the recovery, the unemployment rate has risen to 9.1 percent. Even more startling, the average duration of unemployment rose to 39.7 weeks – the longest ever, demonstrating the prolonged pain of this recession.

While the wealth in our society has flowed to a handful of rich Americans, working people have endured years of hardship. And now, instead of doing what is necessary to stimulate the economy, invest in jobs, and restore consumer confidence, too many in Washington continue to clamor for harmful spending cuts to advance their own political interests.

Legislating by political games and ideology is the worst possible response to the crisis. Deep budget cuts threaten our economic security by giving up on promises made to seniors and the future for our children. And as we’ve seen in other countries’ response to the crisis, it leads to an even more dangerous economic climate. This is a time for bold action.

Let it be clear to our leaders and those seeking office: no other issue than the jobs crisis will be more dominant in the minds of working people come next November. Gaining the support of working families will mean showing real political courage, not playing more political games.

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