"Today's unemployment report offered some encouraging news. However, it simply is not good enough. We cannot accept an unemployment rate of 7.8 percent as "normal.' The reality is that millions of people have given up looking for a job, and left the workforce. In fact, the workforce participation rate has not been this low since Jimmy Carter was President.
"Why? Well, we saw more evidence this weekthat current policies are damaging economic growth and job creation.
"The U.S. Chamber of Commerce released a survey on Wednesday that shows that prolonged uncertainty about the looming combination of tax increases and so-called "sequestration' spending cuts are discouraging small businesses from hiring. Only 16 percent of small business owners reported that they plan to add employees this year and the majority expects to hold off hiring into 2013, according to the Chamber's third quarter survey of small businesses.
"A huge number of small business owners file their taxes as individuals, rather than as corporations. All told, 89 percent say believe these threatened hikes will hurt their firms.
"Our primary focus must be jobs, careers and opportunities for all Americans. The Administration and Congress should be working together to lead our nation back to economic freedom.
"The Chamber survey only confirms what I hear when I meet businessmen and women from small and large companies as well as New Jersey families: higher taxes, larger debt, more regulation and even the threat of increased government mandates hamper new job creation.
"Among other urgent actions, we should be enacting pro-growth tax reform, rolling back unnecessary government regulation on businesses large and small, and making America energy independent.
"Only then will we see uncertainty among business-owners decrease and private sector hiring increase!"