U.S. Senator Mike Johanns (R-Neb.) today issued the following statement after President Barack Obama's puzzling remarks on the state of the U.S. economy. The President this morning stated, "The private sector is doing fine."
Johanns said, "With unemployment stuck above 8 percent for more than three years, it's disturbing to hear the President of the United States say our country's private sector economy is 'fine.' Americans must not accept an 8.2 percent unemployment rate. To change it job creators need certainty, starting with getting the $16 trillion national debt under control and removing the constant onslaught of unnecessarily burdensome regulations. I find it tremendously disheartening to hear the President suggest the private sector is doing 'fine' instead of showing leadership."
* The job growth in May was the weakest in a year. Fewer than half of the 150,000 expected new jobs were added last month.
* The unemployment rate for women 16 and over is 7.9 percent, according to the Bureau or Labor Statistics (BLS).
* Nearly a quarter of all youth between the ages of 16 and 19 looking for employment are unemployed, according to BLS, and almost 13 percent of individuals between the age of 20 and 24.
* The unemployment rate among African-Americans is 13.6 percent and 11 percent among the Hispanic or Latino community, according to BLS.
* Unemployment among post-9/11 veterans is 12.7 percent, according to BLS.
* The country's underemployment rate also increased to nearly 15 percent.
* BLS reports the average duration of unemployment is close to 40 weeks.