Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement on the March 2012 Employment Situation report released today:
"Our nation's labor market added 121,000 private sector jobs in the month of March, while the unemployment rate fell to 8.2 percent.
"For 25 consecutive months, we've registered private sector job growth. Some months we are seeing tremendous job gains, while other months we are seeing more modest gains. But the trend line is clear: Our economy is growing, and our recovery is durable.
"Since this president took office, we've added more than 4 million jobs to an economy that was bleeding 800,000 a month under the last administration. That's a noteworthy achievement.
"We've added nearly half a million manufacturing jobs since February 2010. This week, major U.S. carmakers announced that their U.S. sales rose last month to the highest level in at least four years. When President Obama took office, the U.S. auto industry was on the verge of collapse. Since he bet big on the American autoworker, the industry has seen a complete turnaround, adding more than 230,000 jobs since the summer of 2009.
"However, the fact that some Americans are still leaving the labor force shows that we cannot rest on our laurels and expect to coast our way back to prosperity. This administration continues to fight for programs that will support and train our youth and displaced workers. Our recovery will only be as lasting as our commitment to the American worker. Now that the country is on a steady path toward recovery, we need to invest in community colleges and job training programs that prepare our workers for 21st century jobs."