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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Amaya Tune (202) 637-5018
Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka on October Jobs Report
WASHINGTON - November 5 - Tuesday's election results and today's jobs numbers are a clarion call to the next Congress that job creation and fixing our economy must be the number one priority. With the unemployment rate stagnant at 9.6 percent, it's no wonder people are angry, frustrated and disappointed. Despite a welcome increase of 151,000 jobs in October, nearly 15 million Americans are still unemployed. The unemployment rate has been essentially unchanged since May. Over 40 percent of the unemployed have been jobless for more than six months and hundreds of thousands will lose benefits at the end of the month.
We must move immediately to take up solutions that will rebuild American and put people back to work. That starts by extending jobless benefits, which, according to the Economic Policy Institute, will help create or save 488,000 jobs. But that's only the first step.
In a post election poll commissioned by the AFL-CIO, voters want to see action now to create jobs in the U.S., including an investment in rebuilding roads, bridges, schools and clean energy systems. And voters strongly support investing in jobs to maintain U.S. competitiveness with China, India and Germany. Voters reject Republicans' proposals to "fix the economy" – including cutting taxes on the wealthiest 2 percent and privatizing Social Security.
The mandate is clear. It is up to Congress to act to create jobs now. The American people expect nothing less.