WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement this morning regarding the Department of Labor’s Employment Report for May, which showed the economy gained 248,000 jobs last month but the unemployment rate remained stubbornly stuck at 5.6 percent:
“The Labor Department’s employment report for May is certainly good news for America’s workers. After three years of unprecedented job losses in our economy, it is about time that we begin to create jobs.
“However, we must guard against letting our exuberance at today’s report become irrational. The fact is, there were still 8.2 million unemployed Americans in May, and the number of long-term unemployed – those out of work for 27 weeks or more – held steady at 1.8 million. And the unemployment rate remained stubbornly stuck at 5.6 percent.
“We also need to put today’s employment report in perspective. The Administration projected last year that the economy would create 5.5 million new jobs in 2004. We’re now nearly half-way through the year, but we have only created one-fifth of that number. Today’s employment report is hardly vindication of this Administration’s economic policies, which have created record budget deficits and driven our nation deep into debt.
“Today’s employment report cannot overshadow the painful reality: Even with three months of job growth, President Bush has the worst record of job creation since the Depression, with a net loss of 1.2 million jobs. The quarter of a million jobs created in May is not insubstantial. But let’s remember that during the Clinton Administration, the economy averaged 239,000 jobs gained every single month for eight straight years. When this Administration’s economic performance is matched against its predecessor’s, there really is no comparison.”