Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on December jobs report (1/11)
“December's jobs report is an ominous sign of the deep and continued suffering by working families who want to work but can't find jobs, despite tentative signs of renewed economic growth. The unemployment rate held steady at 10 percent only because 661,000 workers left the labor force altogether. Our nation remains at risk of a double-dip recession as well as long-term wage and job stagnation if Congress and the president fail to act quickly and decisively to create good jobs now.
“The number of Americans looking for work for over 6 months remains alarmingly high at 6.1 million. Joblessness among young adults is a dismal 27.1 percent. And the rates among African Americans â€” at 16.2 percent â€” and Hispanics â€” at 12.9 percent â€” are especially painful.
“It has taken years of financial abuses and corporate giveaways to get us into this deep hole and we will only climb out if we keep our foot on the accelerator. We urge Congress to move quickly to pass emergency legislation. The bill passed by the House in December is a good start. The AFL-CIO has outlined a five-step plan that can be immediately implemented to create or save 4 million jobs. Our plan would extend unemployment, food aid and health care benefits. It would rebuild our crumbling infrastructure and invest in green technology, increase aid to state and local governments, put people to work in distressed communities and hire community banks to lend TARP funds to small businesses.”
For a full copy of the AFL-CIO five-step plan go to: http://www.aflcio.org/createjobs
Workers can go to www.unemploymentlifeline.com for assistance.