The economy created no net jobs in the month of August according to a report released by the U.S. Department of Labor. Coming on the heels of two dismal job reports, the news fueled concern that the economy is on the brink of a double-dip recession.
Citing the report, Congressman Jack Kingston (R-GA) urged President Obama to use a joint session of Congress next week to abandon failed economic policies and work toward bipartisan efforts to spur economic growth.
"Next week, the President will have the opportunity to change course and lay out a new path to create jobs," said Kingston. "I hope he takes the chance to lay out a workable, bipartisan plan rather than give another grand speech. If spending were the answer, we would be on easy street right now. With not a single job created last month, this report makes clear that it is not and that it is time to abandon the failed policies of the past."
The jobs report was the worst since last September and shows the worst private sector performance since February of last year. Revisions of previously-reported data showed the Labor Department overestimated job creation by 58,000 jobs in the months of June and July. All totaled, the economy has created just 105,000 jobs since June.
That number is less for the entire summer than is needed to compensate for just one month's growth in the labor force. In total 14 million Americans who want work are unable to find employment and nearly half -- 42.9 percent -- have been unemployed for more than six months.
While the Labor Department estimated the unemployment rate at 9.1 percent, that number increases to 16.1 percent when those who have given up finding employment are taken into consideration.
Over the past several weeks, Kingston has met with small businesses across his South Georgia district to identify ways to reignite the economy and put Georgians back to work. Throughout these and other meetings, Kingston says he has heard and overwhelming refrain.
"Right now, government is the enemy of economic growth," Kingston said. "We have overly-burdensome regulations literally preventing small businesses from creating jobs. Combined with entitlement programs which discourage able-bodied workers from seeking employment, you have a perfect storm. The House has laid out a plan to change that and to get government out of the way of economic growth. I hope the President will review our proposal and begin working with us to identify common ground."
A good start to creating jobs, Kingston said, would be to halt many of the more than 4,000 new regulations the Obama Administration has in the pipeline. From there, he believes entitlement reform, tax simplification, and developing American energy resources are essential to putting the economy back to work.