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Rep. Engel - Jobless Rate Falls to 7.8%, Labor Force Increases


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Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-17) said the employment rate dropping significantly, to 7.8 percent, and the addition of 114,000 private sector jobs, were positive signs for the economy and good news for Americans. The unemployment rate fell from 8.1 percent, and is now the lowest since January 2009. The U.S. Department of Labor also announced an upward revision of the July and August numbers of 86,000 jobs.

This promising report comes in the wake of the Bureau of Labor Statistics announcement that it had undercounted employment for the previous year by almost 400,000 jobs. Factoring in the undercount, over the past two years more than 5 million private sector jobs were created, with job growth for 31 consecutive months. At the end of the Bush Administration we were losing 700,000 jobs per month and on the brink of the collapse of our economic system.

Rep. Engel said, "The economy is still recovering but the rate of recovery is accumulating and today's report shows that progress is indeed being made. The employment to population ratio, and labor force participation, are both up, and the revised numbers show that the last couple of months have been better than we realized at the time. The bottom line is that more people are finding work, which is a trend the country needs to continue.

"It would be even more helpful if Congress had been able to pass a comprehensive jobs bill to support these burgeoning good numbers. Unfortunately, we will be in recess for another month, and face a House Republican Majority more focused on their own re-election than on putting Americans back to work. We also have Senate Republicans wielding the filibuster like a weapon to strike down all attempts at jobs legislation, since they aren't worried about middle class and working families' jobs, but only putting President Obama out of a job.

"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. We cannot use the House Majority's budget plan which slashes everything -- including job training programs and college assistance -- for the sake of preserving tax cuts for the wealthy.

"Today provided good news for working families in America, and together we can build on it and bring even better news in the months ahead."

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