Trumka demands quick action jobs legislation

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on June Jobs Report
July 02, 2010

Today's unemployment numbers should be a wake-up call to Republicans in Congress who have refused to act to create jobs, stop layoffs and help the jobless. Their repeated 'No' votes on jobs are a slap in the face to America's working families as Congress heads out for a long holiday recess.

Republicans stubbornly refuse to recognize that the private sector's job-creating machine is dead in the water, creating only 83,000 jobs last month. In the Senate this week, every Democrat but one voted to extend unemployment benefits and all but two Republicans voted to block those same benefits. Overall, the economy shed 125,000 jobs in June as the Census reduced its temporary workforce. The unemployment rate fell to 9.5 percent in June, but only because 652,000 workers left the labor force.

The economic recovery is still far too weak to power the job growth we need to offset the almost 8 million jobs lost since the recession began. Meanwhile, 14.6 million workers are formally unemployed, and nearly half of them have been unemployed for more than 26 weeks.

Every effort to dig us out of our 10.5 million jobs hole is being stymied by excuses about the deficit. This is not to say the federal budget doesn't need attention—it does, but over the long term. Right now we have an immediate jobs crisis. And unless we address it soon, we'll only make the nation's economic conditions worse.

It is a national disgrace that members of Congress are heading home to celebrate our nation's birthday after having voted repeatedly NOT to create jobs or to extend unemployment aid. All Americans have been impacted by our jobs crisis, with some families bearing multiple burdens of job loss, foreclosures, and benefit cuts. We're teetering on the brink of a historic national and global depression. And congressional Republicans are pushing closer and closer to the edge.

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