Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on May Jobs Report

For Immediate Release

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Media Outreach Department 202-637-5018.

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on May Jobs Report

WASHINGTON - The American economy added 431,000 jobs in May, including 411,000
government jobs to do the important work of the U.S. census.  The
unemployment rate dropped to 9.7 percent.  As welcome as these new jobs
are, they are temporary and – without action from Congress – many will
be eliminated over the next few months. 

Private employers added only 41,000 new jobs in May, further evidence
that the recovery is still fragile.  The Recovery Act clearly saved us
from a second Great Depression, but it was not sufficient to power
strong and sustained job growth, and its effects are expected to wane in
coming months. 

Congress must do more, not less, to create jobs and sustain the
recovery. We must create 13 million jobs to reduce the unemployment rate
to six percent by the end of 2013. Most immediately, congress must move
quickly to restore health care benefits for the unemployed and provide
aid to states to maintain jobs and vital services. We already see state
and local governments shedding 22,000 jobs in May. Without further
action to offset state budget shortfalls, these job losses will offset
temporary gains from federal spending. 

America's workers have paid far more than their fair share for the
economic crisis - they've paid with their jobs, with their homes and
with billions of dollars to Wall Street. 

Fears of federal budget deficits are misguided. Our country has a
long-term fiscal debt problem, mostly tied to rising health care costs,
but we do not have a short-term deficit problem  

Today's challenge is jobs. Unless Congress addresses this challenge
with the focus and energy they brought to rescuing our banks, not only
will a generation of workers be doomed to unemployment and the recovery
itself put at risk, but dealing with our long-term fiscal problem will
be all the more difficult.

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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.

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