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Lankford: Answer to Unemployment in Local Support


Location: Washington, DC

Today, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) released another month of high unemployment figures: 7.7% for November. In spite of a national employment malaise, Representative James Lankford (R-OK) expressed optimism that local efforts can continue to help put people back to work.

"December 7th will always be a solemn day in our nation's history," said Rep. Lankford. "On this day, we remember those who serve our great country and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice."

"But Pearl Harbor day's observance can also provide us with hope. In December 1941 the unemployment rate hovered around 9.9%. After the shock and devastation of that day, the nation united in a common goal of keeping America safe, which led to the creation of America's greatest generation. I believe that same spirit continues to thrive in the cities and towns of our nation today.

Today, there are still 721,000 unemployed young veterans and 176,000 unemployed Vietnam-era veterans in our nation. Oklahoma works to improve its commitment to unemployed veterans through programs like the Oklahoma Military Connection (OMC). At a recent event, the OMC introduced more than 225 veteran and service members to over 70 employers.

"Our state's business community receives the benefits of the highly skilled and ready workforce represented by our transitioning active military, National Guard personnel, Reservists and veterans," continued Lankford.

"My state and district are proud of our dedication to finding solutions for our veterans. Our relatively low state unemployment rates and high rates of economic growth stand as a model for local success to help people get back to work, rather than looking for solutions 1,300 miles away."

In October 2012 Oklahoma's state unemployment rate was 5.3% in contrast to a 7.9% national rate. Private companies are hiring and building new facilities in our state every day. TechAmerica even recently ranked OKC as #1 in tech employment, compared to other large cities in America.

"While the national unemployment rate remains high, my district serves as an example of ways we can work together to get people back to work by relying on each other rather than the federal government. Washington can serve American taxpayers by resolving the fiscal cliff and uniting under a banner of reduced government spending, tax certainty and debt resolution," concluded Lankford.

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