Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement on the August 2012 Employment Situation report released today:
"Our nation's labor market added 96,000 nonfarm payroll jobs in August, while the unemployment rate dropped to 8.1 percent.
"When President Obama came into office, the economy was in a free fall, credit markets were frozen, and our nation was bleeding hundreds of thousands of jobs a month. We've now added back 4.6 million private sector jobs over the last 30 months, including nearly 2 million in the last year alone.
"An economic crisis that was decades in the making will not be solved overnight, but our recovery remains on a stable trajectory of positive job growth. Smart and steady wins the race.
"It's worth noting that, in the 38 months since the end of the recession in June 2009, we've created three times as many private sector jobs as we had at the same point following the 2001 recession.
"To continue our path forward, Congress must reject the voices who seek to gut funding for education and skills training at this pivotal moment for our nation. We have to make a college education affordable for every student willing to work hard, invest in skills training so Americans workers can compete in a 21st century economy and prevent a tax increase on middle-class families. We know that an enduring recovery must be built from the middle out and the bottom up --not the top down. That's the key to securing our long-term prosperity."