Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-16) said that the December jobs report, which shows the 34th consecutive month of job creation, demonstrates the need for Congress to come together and help the economy recover and work to create more jobs. The U.S. Department of Labor's report showed a gain of 155,000 jobs and a minuscule uptick in the unemployment rate to 7.8 percent. Revisions to the previous two jobs report also added another 14,000 jobs to the report.
In the last five months, over 750,000 jobs have been created, and over five million jobs in the last two years. In 2009, when President Obama took office, the United States was losing 700,000 jobs per month, with our economy teetering on the brink of collapse. This month, there were substantial gains in many industries, especially in manufacturing, health care, food services and construction. Once again, however, there were more losses in government jobs.
"One of the main reasons the jobs numbers have been muted for the past few years is the flood of lost public sector jobs -- including teachers, police and firefighters. Since 2009, the federal government has only added 2,000 jobs, while state and local governments have lost a combined 616,000 jobs. Municipalities have been facing daunting budgetary problems which are not helped by Congressional Republicans manufacturing fiscal crises every few months," said Rep. Engel. "It is time for us to reach a balanced agreement to provide stability, enable industry to feel comfortable adding jobs, and find a way to help our states and local governments stabilize their finances as well."
He added, "As long as Congress continues to play games with fiscal legislation, our economy is left with uncertainty which leads to a wide variance of speculation causing the economic numbers to be weak. The job creation process does not stop there. We need to pass a comprehensive jobs package in this new Congress, and do so very quickly. Our jobs bill must have ample opportunities for infrastructure improvements. As Hurricane Sandy tragically proved, we need to improve our infrastructure. Prevention is always cheaper than repairing the damages later. We need to reinvest in job training and making school more affordable so people can re-train for 21st century jobs. The economy has changed over the years and our workforce, and our government need to change with it. The U.S. invests 2.4% of its GDP into infrastructure, while Europe invests 5% and China invests 9%. We cannot continue to lag if we want to lead. I call on my colleagues to act on this and prove that the animosity of the 112th Congress will not be repeated in the 113th Congress."