Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics released the December Jobs Report indicating the U.S. economy added a dismal 74,000 jobs in December -- the smallest amount of jobs added in a single month since January 2011, and far below the expected addition of 200,000 jobs. Additionally, and even more troubling, the report indicates the labor force participation rate fell to the lowest rate in more than three decades.
The large number of people who have been out of a job for six months or more continues to anchor the labor market. There were nearly 4 million long-term jobless in December, virtually unchanged from the previous month. The long-term unemployed account for more than one-third of country's unemployed workers, higher now than at any time in the past 60 years.
"This Jobs Report only formalizes the desperate reality too many Americans have been feeling for years now," said Congressman McKeon. "Positive economic indicators like small statistical growth coming from Washington talking points or booming gains on Wall Street, are not fooling the American people who are still out of work and struggling to meet their family's most basic needs. We are witnessing millions of unemployed Americans leaving the job search because job opportunities simply don't exist. These dismal unemployment numbers don't even consider the additional grave reality of the millions of Americans who are working but are underemployed, struggling to stretch a paycheck and make any gains to get ahead.
"The President can't have this economy both ways- either it is growing and his policies are working, or the depleted programs for the unemployed that require continued emergency support show that the economy just isn't better. Instead of demonizing Republicans for things such as wanting to extend emergency unemployment benefits in a fiscally responsible way, that actually works to grow the economy and create jobs, it would be helpful if the President would sit down with the House and work to pass fresh policies to turn this stagnant economy around."