As I travel the 5th District, it is clear that the policies handed down from Washington have very real and very negative impacts on small businesses, families, and individuals throughout our district. There is perhaps no more visible indication of the impact these policies have than the unemployment report released by the Department of Labor each month.
For nearly three years Americans across this country have suffered as our unemployment rate remained above 8%. Last month alone 122,000 Americans lost their jobs. Small business owners across the 5th District have faced over-regulation, excessive tax burdens, and lackluster economic growth that has threatened the very future of their businesses. And 5th District Virginians have suffered as a result -- with some communities in our district struggling through double-digit unemployment over the past four years.
Just last week, we learned that the 7.7 % of Americans remain without a job in this economy. A drop in the national unemployment rate is encouraging; however, with 350,000 Americans leaving the labor force last month alone, we are discouraged by the growing number of Americans who are giving up the search for work. With millions of Americans out of work, there is much to be done before the year's end as we look for ways to restore full employment.
The looming prospect of tax hikes on all Americans at the year's end further threatens our fragile economy, and at a time when 5th District Virginians have struggled through unacceptably high unemployment, we must ensure that we keep taxes low for all Americans. It is time for Washington to come together to address the great challenges that we face.
Washington has tried to spend its way out of this jobs crisis, but it is clear that more stimulus style spending does not create jobs for 5th District Virginians. We must return to our founding principles of limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty, to put an end to the reckless spending and get Americans back to work. And we must first focus on creating certainty for our small businesses by keeping taxes low and reducing our debt so they may create the jobs and ensure that our next four years will be marked by responsibility, certainty, and prosperity, and not debt, doubt, and decline.