For Immediate Release
Amaya Tune or Josh Goldstein (202) 637-5018a
Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on February Jobs Report
WASHINGTON - We are seeing a few positive signs in the economy, largely due to
the President's recovery package. But our labor market remains weak,
and America's workers are still paying a heavy toll in ongoing job
losses, reduced hours, and mediocre job prospects. Unemployment held
steady last month at 9.7 percent with 36,000 jobs lost during February.
Over 6 million workers have been looking for employment for 6 months
or more and Latinos, African Americans and young people continue to be
hit hardest by double-digit joblessness.
We have a long way to go -- just to get our nation back to the pre-
recession unemployment rate. While Senator Bunning has thankfully
ceased his one-man wrecking crew, the $15 billion jobs bill signed into
law is not nearly enough to close the enormous jobs gap we face.
We need massive investment in good jobs, and we need it soon –
including extending the unemployment lifeline, investing in our
nation's infrastructure, funding for state and local governments for
vital services, direct job creation in distressed communities and
lending to small businesses through community banks.
Even now, as tens of millions of Americans are looking for jobs or
are stuck in part-time work, Wall Street is back to business as usual.
The big banks are refusing to modify home mortgages – and refusing to
lend money to families and small businesses. Meanwhile they increased
their bonus pools to record levels in 2009.
The AFL-CIO is moving an aggressive plan to push for new jobs,
calling on Congress and the Obama administration to take five immediate
steps to address the jobs crisis. We're launching a week of nationwide
actions March 15 to call out Wall Street, the Big Bankers and the
corporations that take the public's money and use it to line their own
pockets while they downsize and outsource jobs. Our message: Hard-
working Americans need jobs. It's time to pay up.
The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) is a voluntary federation of 56 national and international labor unions. The AFL-CIO union movement represents 10.5 million members, including 2 million members in Working America, its new community affiliate. We are teachers and truck drivers, musicians and miners, firefighters and farm workers, bakers and bottlers, engineers and editors, pilots and public employees, doctors and nurses, painters and laborers-and more.