For Immediate Release
Eddie Vale (202) 637-5018
Statement by AFL-CIO President John Sweeney on July Jobs Report
WASHINGTON - The dip in the unemployment rate in July is a welcome sign that
President Obama's economic recovery package is starting to blunt the
impact of the most severe recession in a generation. By refusing to
listen to the naysayers, the President and Congress have helped to
avert a total financial meltdown – despite much continuing pain. We
still have a long way to go until our economy is growing and creating
good jobs at a healthy rate -- and we will need decisive and timely
action from our government in the meantime.
It is not good news that we lost 247,000 jobs in July, bringing
total job loss since the recession began to 6.7 million. The growth of
long -term unemployment by another 584,000 is especially disturbing and
cries out for immediate, additional attention. There are now more than
5.7 jobseekers for every available job – up from 1.7 at the start of
The July job figures would have been much worse without the
stimulus, which has helped to slow the pace of job loss to less than
half of what it was just six months ago. From May to July, job losses
averaged 331,000 per month, compared with losses averaging 645,000 per
month from November to April.
President Obama's Economic Recovery Act has clearly slowed the rate
of job decline, but the current deep and broad economic crisis is not
going to be solved quickly—or with one shot in the arm of economic
stimulus. Much more needs to be done to begin to produce the sustained
growth we need to create good jobs for America's workers. We look
forward to working with the President and Congress to that end.
To help the unemployed, the AFL-CIO and Working America have created the nation's largest online resource for workers at www.unemploymentlifeline.com
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.