For Immediate Release
Josh Goldstein (202) 637-5018
Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard L. Trumka on February Jobs Report
WASHINGTON - With today's jobs report, we are finally seeing the beginning of a fragile economic recovery. The economy continues to grow, but the recovery remains threatened by irresponsible budget cutting in Congress and in states and cities across the country.
Employment rebounded sharply in February as the economy added 192,000 jobs and the unemployment rate dipped below 9.0 percent. January employment was hindered by bad weather, but job growth over the two months averaged 134,000 jobs, nearly a level sufficient to absorb new entrants into the labor force but not enough to reduce the 11 million job deficit opened by the Great Recession. The last thing we need right now is for misguided politicians to cut off the recovery before it can take hold.
The weak spot in the economy remains budget troubles for state and local governments, which together shed 30,000 jobs in February. Local government jobs are down 377,000 since September 2008. Without some relief from the federal government, state and local layoffs could undermine prospects for sustained economic recovery.
To sustain growth, politicians around the country need to come together to invest in creating good jobs and solving real problems, not slashing the federal budget, laying off workers or attacking the programs essential to middle class families. It's time our leaders got their priorities straight.
To bring our country back to greatness and create a future for our children, no task is more important for our leaders than creating good jobs. We need to put the politics of the past aside and invest in creating good jobs all across America. And the time to act is now.
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.