Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) issued the following response to the figures released by the Department of Labor showing no change in the unemployment rate of 8.2 percent:
"Today, the Department of Labor released a disappointing jobs report for June, showing an added 84,000 private sector jobs with a net gain of 80,000 jobs. The overall unemployment rate remained stagnant at 8.2 percent.
"The stagnant unemployment rate is bad enough, but with African American joblessness up nearly a percentage point from last month, to 14.4 %, we are long overdue for a serious jobs plan--one that will spur economic growth and accelerate job creation by strengthening the public sector, investing in our infrastructure, increasing job training efforts and strengthening our safety net.
"Additionally, long-term unemployment continues to be untenably high, with 5.4 million people having been out of work for longer than 27 weeks (41.9% of the total unemployed) -- which doesn't include the more than 800,000 people who have become discouraged by the lack of jobs available jobs. Any serious job plan must include extending unemployment benefits for those who have and will exhaust their benefits.
"The GOP leaders in the House must end their obstructionist agenda, stop wasting limited floor time and commit to working together with Democrats and the President to create jobs if we are to have true economic recovery and equity for all Americans, and especially the millions who continue to struggle through this recovery.