Mr. PALLONE. Madam Speaker, last month the unemployment rate increased from 7.2 percent to 7.6 percent. If these increases continue, we will hit double digits this summer and would reach our highest unemployment number since the Great Depression. But this unemployment number does not tell the complete story.
Last month alone, 731,000 people simply gave up looking for work out of frustration with the lack of employment prospects, and today 13.9 percent of Americans, or more than 21 million of our neighbors, have either given up looking for a job or are working in a job that is no longer full time. These workers are underemployed.
These numbers are a stark reminder of how important it is for us to get these people back to work, and that is why we need to pass the economic recovery package today without delay.
Madam Speaker, we have an opportunity to create or save 3.5 million jobs. Let's do the right thing and get these people back to work.