Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on December Employment

For Immediate Release

Contact: 

Josh Goldstein (202) 637-5018

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on December Employment

WASHINGTON - The economy added a surprisingly strong 200,000 net new jobs in December, as growth has improved over the past six months.  The recovery has clearly gained speed since last summer, but is still not strong enough to close the 11 million job gap in our labor market anytime soon.  The recovery remains vulnerable, particularly to slowing growth globally, financial shocks from Europe and premature and misguided austerity policies in Washington and in state capitals.

Thankfully, the leadership of the President and Democrats in Congress is demonstrating a way forward. Extending the payroll tax cut provided some needed liquidity for 160 million working Americans, and Robert Cordray's appointment to lead the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will protect working families from unchecked recklessness on Wall Street. But there is much more to be done.  If Republicans are serious about propelling sustainable and adequate growth in the New Year, they will put partisanship aside and focus on job creation to bring balance to our broken, unequal economy.

Immediate growth depends critically on extending unemployment insurance and the payroll tax cut, for the entire year, without the politicking and brinksmanship that has become the norm. From investing in infrastructure, keeping jobs in America, aiding our cities and states, keeping homeowners in their homes and continuing to reform Wall Street, we are hopeful for a New Year defined by putting America back to work.

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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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