Brutal Jobs Numbers Show Unemployment is the Fundamental Challenge Facing the U.S.

For Immediate Release

Brutal Jobs Numbers Show Unemployment is the Fundamental Challenge Facing the U.S.

Statement of Robert Borosage of the Campaign for America’s Future

WASHINGTON - The U.S. economy added 69,000 private sector jobs in May, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, that was fewer jobs than expected. The unemployment rate is 8.2 percent of Americans.  

Statement from Robert L. Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America’s Future:

“This month's jobs report confirms what we already know:  mass unemployment and its harsh human misery remain the fundamental challenge facing America.  Across the board, jobs growth is halting.  Layoffs of public employees at the state, local, and now the national level are a continuing drag on the economy.  If the public sector employed as many workers today as it did on the eve of the financial collapse, 2 million more people would be employed, and our unemployment rate would be about a percentage point lower.

“Businesses, sitting on record profits will not create jobs when there are no customers in sight.  Mass unemployment, declining household incomes and collapsed housing values force Americans to tighten their belts. In this situation, it is vital that government act to help bolster demand, put people to work, and get the economy moving.  The President has called for action on a jobs plan that would include measures to rebuild our infrastructure and put a devastated construction industry to work, aid to states and cities to rehire police and teachers, direct programs to hire veterans, and tax reforms that would reduce the incentives companies have to move jobs abroad. 

“Instead the Republican Congress insists on ever deeper cuts at the federal level, while reducing aid to the states.  They have even obstructed passage of a transportation bill that has always had bipartisan support and is strongly needed.  Layoffs of public employees add to the human toll the recession takes, while hurting the economy.  As Great Britain has shown, austerity in the midst of recession is self-destructive. This is leech economics.  Like the Medieval practice of applying leeches to convalescing patients, it causes pain without benefit.   It adds to human suffering, driving the economy into recession which ends adding to deficits, and worsening the ratio of debt to GDP.  It is time for government to act.”

The Campaign for America's Future (CAF) is a center for ideas and action that works to build an enduring majority for progressive change. The Campaign advances a progressive economic agenda and a vision of the future that works for the many, not simply the few. The Campaign is leading the fight for America's priorities – for good jobs and a sustainable economy, and for strengthening the safety net.

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The Campaign for America’s Future is the strategy center for the progressive movement. Our goal is to forge the enduring progressive majority needed to realize the America of shared prosperity and equal opportunity that our country was meant to be.

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