This morning, the Department of Labor released its employment report for October showing a loss of another 240,000 American jobs, bringing the total number of jobs lost this year to 1.2 million, and a 14-year high jobless rate of 6.5 percent.
Today’s announcement that America has lost more than 1 million jobs this year underscores what working families already know: the Congress and the Bush Administration must take swift action to boost the economy, create jobs and help struggling Americans.
The House has already passed strong economic recovery and job creation legislation in September. Today's economic news should send a clear signal to Republicans in the Senate and to President Bush that they must join us in an effort leading economists agree is critical.
We will also continue our dialogue with America's automakers and the United Auto Workers in the coming weeks to safeguard the interests of American taxpayers, protect hundreds of thousands of workers and retirees, and use cutting-edge technology to transform blue-collar jobs to green collar jobs for generations to come. For our economic and national security, it is essential that we preserve our manufacturing and technology base.
We can create good-paying jobs here at home, provide relief to struggling families and small businesses, and take action to make America more competitive in the 21st century global economy. It is time for a Main Street Recovery.
Today's job figures show an unexpectedly sharp spike in unemployment: In October, the American economy lost an additional 240,000 jobs. With job losses in nearly every sector of our economy, from blue-collar to white-collar, our unemployment rate has reached 6.5%, a 14-year high. In all, our economy has cut jobs every month of this year, for a total of 1.2 million lost since 2008 began.
Behind those numbers are millions of stories of mothers and fathers struggling to provide for their families, of workers suddenly cut off from health insurance, of homeowners in rising danger of losing their homes. President-elect Obama was absolutely right when he called these sad facts a 'final verdict' on the Republican economic policies that have failed us.
We intend to do better–and, with the help of our President-elect, we will. Economic recovery legislation must be at the top of Congress's agenda. With projects to rebuild our nation's infrastructure and increased aid to the unemployed and to hard-pressed states, we can stimulate our economy and begin creating jobs again. Democrats look forward to working with our Republican colleagues, the outgoing President, and the President-elect to make economic recovery a reality as quickly as possible.
Majority Whip Clyburn:
If there was any doubt about the need for a recovery package in the near-term, today's jobs report puts it to rest. Congress must return to Washington to pass a robust recovery package to bring relief to American workers, strengthen the economy and create jobs. This should be a first step in a long-term aggressive strategy to put the US economy back on track. I look forward to working with the Obama administration on an effective economy recovery plan.
Rep. George Miller, Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee:
Today's announcement that our economy lost almost a quarter million jobs in October proves that we need to move quickly to help American families deal with a rapidly failing economy. The 1.2 million Americans who lost their jobs this year are desperate for real solutions to get our nation back to work and our economy moving forward again.
We must get started right away by passing a Main Street recovery plan that will get Americans back to work by making real investments in energy independence and infrastructure improvements, and providing immediate relief to families and workers struggling with long-term unemployment.
More than a million out of work Americans stand to lose their extended unemployment benefits by the end of the year. With potentially millions more joining the ranks of the long-term unemployed, any economic recovery package must extend the amount of time that a worker can receive unemployment insurance benefits while they look for another job.
As we build a more resilient and robust economy, we must also ensure that workers are able to benefit as growth returns. Workers must be able to earn a fair wage, decent benefits and have the ability to enjoy a secure retirement. I look forward to working with the new Congress and the Obama administration to enact additional policies that will further strengthen our economy and its backbone — American workers and middle-class families.