Over the past four years, Americans have gotten used to receiving bad news when it comes to the economy. On Friday, the Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported the unemployment rate went up from 7.8% in September to 7.9% in October. The economy added 171,000 jobs last month, and although any positive job growth is better than none, the slight uptick in today's jobs numbers is a stark reminder of just how far we still have to go.
The United States is facing an anemic job market. The unemployment rate topped 8 percent from February 2009 to August 2012, which was the longest period of time since 1948. And today, the "real" unemployment rate stands at 14.6 percent with more than 20 million Americans struggling to find full-time work. After four years, folks dropping out of the labor force have outnumbered new employees by almost 7 to 1.
This sluggish recovery poses a threat to the long-term health of the U.S. economy. The House Republicans' plan for job creators is an alternative to the Administration's failed policies. We passed more than 30 bipartisan jobs bills that are awaiting action in the Senate. Conditions are not improving quickly enough; it is time to pursue a different economic path.