WASHINGTON, DC – House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement this morning after the Department of Labor reported that the unemployment rate in July dropped to 6.2 percent from 6.4 percent – a nine-year high – in June:
“The President and the Administration’s cheerleaders undoubtedly will claim that this slight drop in the unemployment rate in July somehow validates their failed economic policies. On its face, this drop in the unemployment rate appears to be good news. But if you look a little deeper, you see the disturbing truth: The unemployment rate dropped because nearly half a million jobless Americans became so discouraged that they stopped looking for work, not because our economy created new jobs. In fact, our economy lost 44,000 jobs in July.
“This slight downturn in the unemployment rate cannot mask the reality of this Administration’s failed policies. President Bush has the worst record of job creation of any president since Herbert Hoover. The federal government is projecting a record budget deficit this year after four straight years of surpluses under President Clinton. And we are spending the entire Social Security surplus to pay for unaffordable tax cuts that aren’t spurring the economy.
“House Democrats proposed an economic growth plan this year that would have created more than 1 million jobs this year without exploding the deficit and national debt. But Republicans rejected it. With this news today, Republicans will be patting themselves on the back even though our economy shed 44,000 payroll jobs last month and more than 9 million Americans are struggling with unemployment. These unemployment figures are not a cause for celebration. They’re another indication that the Administration’s policies are failing us.”