The U.S. Department of Labor's jobs report for the month of March failed to meet expectations with employers adding 120,000 jobs, half as many as in February and far short of the 205,000 private economists had anticipated.
While the unemployment rate shrank slightly, to 8.2 percent, the drop occurred because of a shrinking labor force. Taking into consideration those who sought full-time employment but were forced to take part-time, that figure increases to 14.9 percent. That number grows to a staggering 18 percent when the 4.6 million Americans who have given up looking for work all together are figured in.
"We don't need another jobs report to tell us this economy is failing the American people," said Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA). "It's a real kick to the stomach, though, when the unemployment rate drops only because so many have given up even trying to find work. Meanwhile, working Americans are kicked in the stomach every day when they fill up at the gas pump, having already seen gas prices go up $1.83 under President Obama's watch with no end in sight."
With those rising gas prices threatening an already weak economy and continued struggles in Europe, some believe this disappointing report could signal the start of a new slow down here at home. To prevent that from happening, Kingston urged President Obama and the Democratic-controlled Senate to act.
"There are factors out of government's reach when it comes to creating jobs but there things we can do today to reignite our economy and encourage businesses to grow," Kingston said. "President Obama continues to block the Keystone Pipeline and has cut energy production on federal lands by 40 percent. Let's literally empower the American economy by harnessing our energy resources to create jobs and lessen our dependence on foreign oil."
Kingston, a staunch advocate for tax reform, also noted that the report comes on the heels of America's corporate tax rate becoming the highest in the world.
"It is a sad day when France and Germany have more competitive economies than the United States," he said. "How does having the highest tax rate on business signal that we are ready to grow and create jobs? Let's simplify our tax code to make it fairer, flatter and more conducive to growth."
"Instead of trying to spend our way out of this recession, let's get government out of the way by repealing outdated government regulations and making agencies work with, instead of against, businesses," he continued. "We can literally empower the American economy by harnessing our energy resources, creating jobs and lessening our dependence on foreign oil. Finally, it is time for the Senate to either take up the 30 bipartisan jobs bills passed by the House or start working on its own."
Kingston says he is encouraged by recent action on a bipartisan bill aimed at increasing small business access to capital. The Jumpstarting Our Business Startups (JOBS) Act was an initiative of House Republicans which President Obama signed into law this week.
"Let's make the JOBS Act just the beginning," said Kingston. "We can come together to provide the leadership America needs right now and lay the groundwork for the economy of the future."