Congressman Rick Berg today released the following statement in response to the Bureau of Labor Statistics' release of the March unemployment report. In March, employers pulled back considerably on hiring, with the economy adding 80,000 fewer jobs than each of the previous three months.
"With unemployment remaining above 8 percent for the 38th straight month, it's clear that President Obama's big government policies are not providing Americans with the economic recovery that he promised. Worse are the thousands of discouraged Americans who have stopped looking for work and dropped out of the job market completely, which when added to today's jobs numbers, shows that up to 14.5 percent of Americans are out of work," Berg stated. "Three years ago, the Obama administration claimed that unemployment wouldn't rise above 8 percent if Congress passed the President's trillion dollar stimulus. Rather than continuing down the path of bigger government and more debt creating tremendous amounts of uncertainty for our job creators, President Obama and Senate Democrats should look to the common sense solutions that have worked in North Dakota. Together with then-Governor John Hoeven, we worked together to enact common sense policies that led to business growth, job creation, and increased energy production. Today, North Dakota is a leader in job growth and energy development and has the lowest unemployment rate in the nation."
Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that national unemployment has fallen slightly to 8.2 percent. However, the change was largely due to unemployment Americans dropping out of the job search. In addition, employers hired less last month than in each of the previous three months. The Associated Press reports:
"The job market slowed in March as companies hit the brakes on hiring amid uncertainty about the economy's growth prospects. The unemployment rate dipped, but mostly because more Americans stopped looking for work. The Labor Department says the economy added 120,000 jobs in March, down from more than 200,000 in each of the previous three months."(Paul Wiseman, "US economy adds 120K jobs, jobless rate at 8.2 pct," Associated Press, 04/06/2012)
In January 2009, President Obama's advisors released projections that unemployment would not break 8 percent if Congress passed the stimulus. These projections also showed the passage of the stimulus would result in unemployment rates no higher than 6.4 percent during the first quarter of 2012--2 percent less than unemployment sits today, three years after the passage of Obama's failed stimulus. Today, 12.8 million Americans are still out of work, and an additional 11 million are either underemployed or have stopped looking for work altogether.
Over the last year, the House has passed 28 bipartisan, job-creating bills that the Democrat-controlled Senate has refused to take up for a vote. These bills would empower small business owners, reduce the regulatory burdens that hurt job creation and business growth, and encourage the growth of America's energy sector.