WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement this morning regarding the Department of Labor’s employment report for February, which showed that the economy created a meager 21,000 jobs in February – far less than the 125,000 predicted by economists and the 150,000 needed to keep pace with population increases. The Labor Department also revised job-creation figures for December and January downward:
“George W. Bush ought to be pleased that he doesn’t have to face the American people in Donald Trump’s board room today to defend this anemic employment report because the two words he surely would hear are – ‘You’re fired.’
“The President, whose aides like to tout his MBA degree and experience in the business world, must understand that the bottom line matters and excuses are unacceptable. He has nowhere to run and nowhere to hide when it comes to his abysmal handling of our economy. Come November, I believe the American people are going to hold him accountable for his poor performance and inability to match his rhetoric with results.
“Month after month, President Bush has promised the American people that his economic program would create hundreds of thousands of new jobs only to fall far short again and again. While the addition of 21,000 new jobs in February is good news for the Americans who were hired to fill them, experts agree that our economy needs to create 150,000 jobs a month just to keep pace with population growth. It’s clear that the President’s credibility has been stretched to the breaking point.
“Equally distressing is the news that accompanied this anemic jobs report. The Labor Department also revised job-creation figures downward for January (112,000 to 97,000) and December (16,000 to 8,000), and reported that the manufacturing sector lost jobs for the 43rd straight month, cutting 3,000 jobs in February. And approximately 392,000 American left the civilian workforce in February.
“Meanwhile, the President, in a visit to California on Thursday, pretended that his economic plan is working, telling supporters that a shop’s possible addition of two new jobs demonstrates ‘confidence.’ Mr. President, extolling the possible creation of two new jobs while presiding over an economy that has lost 2.3 million jobs during your term does not demonstrate confidence, it takes chutzpah.
“Rather than talk up the possible creation of two new jobs, I urge President Bush and Congressional Republicans to join Democrats in crafting a real job creation plan. And, I ask the President to push Congress to extend jobless benefits for Americans who have been out of work for six months or more. Long-term unemployment is at its highest level in 20 years, and it is simply indefensible – in this economy – to leave more than 2 million Americans and their families without any means of support.”