Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement on the April 2012 Employment Situation report released today:
"Our nation's labor market added 130,000 private sector jobs in the month of April, while the unemployment rate fell to 8.1 percent, its lowest level in three years.
"Over the last four months, we've added an average of 207,000 private sector jobs. Significantly, the labor market added 53,000 more private sector jobs in February and March than previously had been reported.
"I would characterize our growth as durable and steady. For 26 straight months, we have added private sector jobs. The national unemployment rate has fallen a full point in the last eight months. Layoffs are continuing to come down and are now back to 2006 levels.
"In April, our largest gains -- 62,000 new jobs -- were in good-paying business and professional services careers, meaning more architects, engineers, computer programmers and consultants are finding jobs. Also, we added another 19,000 manufacturing jobs in April. After losing millions of good manufacturing jobs in the years before and during the deep recession, the economy has added 485,000 manufacturing jobs in the past 26 months.
"We've now created more than 4.2 million private sector jobs under this administration. We are seeing a resilient U.S. labor market continuing to recover from the deepest recession since the Great Depression. But there are still too many unemployed workers who still need assistance to get retrained to get back to work.
"We're on the right path, and we know our recovery would be even stronger if Congress hadn't blocked almost every single proposed investment in the American Jobs Act. The president believes we should be doing more to help state and local governments hire back teachers, policemen, firefighters and construction crews. And he believes we should be doing more to cut taxes on small businesses that are the engine of economic growth.
"Going forward, we have a choice to make. We can either make investments in things like education, transportation and new sources of energy -- investments that have always been essential to America's businesses and to creating good middle class jobs. Or we give more tax breaks to wealthy Americans who don't need them and didn't ask for them.
"Prosperity has never just trickled down from a wealthy few. Prosperity has always grown from the heart of a strong middle class. That's why the president laid out a blueprint for an economy that's built to last, based on investments that put America in control of its energy future, improve education and skills for our workers, and support small business and American manufacturing, so we can make more things the world buys."