WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) today released the following statement in response to the January national unemployment numbers announced this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics:
“For the workers who benefited from the small growth in jobs, January was certainly a good month. But the job market in America is still a tough neighborhood for the almost 9 million Americans looking for work, especially in the manufacturing sector, which lost jobs for the 42nd month in a row.
“While I am sure the Bush White House will be quick to laud the new jobs created in January, if it was being straightforward with the American people the White House would instead acknowledge that job creation continues to lag behind what is needed to just break even with population growth and far behind what it promised the American people the tax cuts would produce.
“It is taking longer for unemployed Americans to find a job than anytime in 20 years, with approximately 2 million Americans unemployed for six months or more. In the face of such statistics, it is unbelievable that Congressional Republicans and the President continue to vigorously fight Democratic efforts to extend the federal unemployment benefits program for the unemployed Americans whose state benefits have expired.
“President Bush’s promise that his policies will create jobs continues to lose credibility. The recession ended in November 2001. Yet President Bush has shepherded two years of negative job growth. This is the worst third year of a recovery – or lack of a recovery – since 1958. It’s a record the President and his Republican colleagues should not be quick to praise. And it’s a record that is simply not good enough for America.
“I hope that President Bush will work in a bipartisan manner with Congress to craft a plan to spur job growth.”