U.S. Representative Mike Kelly (PA-03) issued the following statement on the September job report released this morning:
"The American Dream used to be about working hard to get ahead, not working hard to get by, if you're lucky enough to get work at all.
"For the nearly 23 million Americans who are either out of work, underemployed, or have given up looking for work altogether, September's job numbers deliver another devastating blow. We remain stuck in the longest period of sustained high unemployment since the Great Depression, and the fact that we added 114,000 jobs in September simply doesn't cut it. What's worse is that today's report showed that the number of people with part-time jobs who wanted full-time work rose to 8.6 million, which, along with the millions of Americans who've dropped out of the workforce, puts the real unemployment rate above 14 percent.
"We can no longer accept the status quo. We can't sit back and say that unemployment around or above 8 percent, which has been the case for nearly four years, is the new normal. We can't accept that we now have to spend nearly $4 for a gallon of gas every time we fill up our tank, even though this is double what we spent just four years ago. We can't settle for an America in which nearly 1 in 6 people lives in poverty, or with 1 in 7 dependent on the government for food.
"Before our eyes, the Land of Opportunity is being transformed into the Land of Mediocrity, with economic policies replacing American exceptionalism with statism.
"Our challenge is to resist complacency and restore confidence in our ability and potential, and to roundly reject the notion that a 14 percent real unemployment rate is anything but disastrous for Americans and the American Dream."