For Immediate Release
Josh Goldstein (202) 637-5018
Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on June Jobs Report
WASHINGTON - oday'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
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
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.
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.