The Progressive


A project of Common Dreams

For Immediate Release
Contact: Phone: 202-955-5665

Jobs Report is Not a Clear Marker: The Economy is Not Ready for Austerity

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


"Buffeted by Sandy, an early Thanksgiving, and the Washington fiscal showdown, the unemployment rate is down to 7.7 percent with 146,000 added jobs in November according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which is much better than expected but hardly a clear marker," said Robert L. Borosage, co-director of the Campaign for America's Future.

Statement from Robert L. Borosage:

"The economy still faces fierce headwinds - tightening austerity at the federal level, recession in Europe, slower growth in India and China. There is no sign of the robust levels of growth that would produce the jobs we need for the more than 20 million people in need of full-time work. Mass, long-term unemployment is continuing. That means stagnant or falling wages, spreading misery, jobless young people, inadequate demand and a recovery that will continue to falter, if it continues at all.

"The high drama Washington fiscal cliff negotiations get it wrong. You can't fix the debt, as the lavishly funded CEO lobby suggests, by focusing on deficits. You have to fix the economy. Fixing the economy will fix the debt. And that requires bold steps now to put people to work by making investments that are vital to strengthening our economy. With interest rates near record lows, we should be launching a major initiative to rebuild our failing and costly infrastructure. The president has called for a modest effort in this record -- $50 billion for an infrastructure bank - as well as extending the more effective stimulus measures - extended unemployment insurance and the payroll tax cut. Republicans dismiss these out of hand. This gridlock on jobs is the least reported and most important aspect of the fiscal showdown. With no action on jobs, the debate is simply over how much austerity will be inflicted on a weak economy, and who will pay the costs upfront. If the economy slows, working families will continue to pay the price, no matter what is in the agreement.

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.