Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee (D-CA) issued the following response to the figures released by the U.S. Department of Labor showing 155,000 jobs were added in December, marking the 34th consecutive month of private sector job growth. Overall unemployment rate was unchanged at 7.8 percent, after the November unemployment rate adjustment from 7.7 to 7.8 percent.
"Earlier this week, Congress reached a budget agreement that will keep our most vulnerable from falling over the "human cliff." Included in this agreement was an extension of the Emergency Unemployment Insurance program, which is a bridge over troubled waters for the millions of Americans relying on unemployment insurance while they continue to search for work. While this is an accomplishment, more remains to be done.
"With 12.2 million Americans still unemployed, with the long term unemployment rate at near record levels, and with African American unemployment rate increased to 14 percent, we must accelerate job creation for the millions who trying to get back to work. Job creation leads to deficit reduction, and is necessary for a full economic recovery.
"In the 113th, Congress must commit to work together and with President Obama to continue our progress towards restoring the American Dream for all."