Democrats react to the better-than-expected jobs numbers.
Statement from Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers Austan Goolsbee:
“Today’s employment report shows that private sector payrolls increased by 154,000 in July and the unemployment rate ticked down to 9.1 per cent. The economy has added 2.4 million private sector jobs over the past 17 months, despite a slowdown in economic growth from substantial headwinds in the first half of the year.
While the better than expected report is welcome news, the unemployment rate remains unacceptably high and faster growth is needed to replace the jobs lost in the downturn. Bipartisan action is needed to help the private sector and the economy grow – such as measures to extend both the payroll tax cut and unemployment insurance, as well as passing the pending free trade agreements with re-employment assistance for displaced workers, the patent reform bill, and a bipartisan infrastructure bill to help put Americans back to work. This week we averted an economic catastrophe by avoiding a default and putting in place an important down payment on long term deficit reduction. We will continue to work with Congress to build on these efforts to achieve a broader balanced deficit reduction agreement that instills confidence and allows us to live within our means without shortchanging future growth.
In addition to the increases last month, payroll survey estimates of private sector job growth for May (now +99,000) and June (now +80,000) were revised up. Overall payroll employment rose by 117,000 in July. The growth was broad based. Sectors with employment increases included professional and business services (+34,000), health care (+31,300), retail trade (+25,900), manufacturing (+24,000), leisure and hospitality (+17,000), and construction (+8,000). Sectors with employment declines included government (-37,000) and financial activities (-4,000). Manufacturing has added 289,000 jobs since the beginning of 2010, the best period of manufacturing job growth in over a decade. Meanwhile, state and local governments lost 39,000 jobs in July and have shed more than 400,000 jobs since the start of 2010.
The monthly employment and unemployment numbers are volatile and employment estimates are subject to substantial revision. Therefore, as the Administration always stresses, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report.”
Statement from Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid:
“While our economy continues to struggle and millions of Americans remain out of work, it is encouraging that private sector employers did better than most economists predicted by adding more than 150,000 jobs last month.
“We have much work left to do, and creating jobs continues to be Democrats’ top priority. There are a number of things Congress can do to create jobs right away. We can spur innovation and give manufacturers tax breaks to create clean energy jobs in Nevada and across America. We can put Americans to work building roads, bridges and schools.
“But to accomplish these goals, we need Republicans to stop using common-sense jobs bills as vehicles for the Tea Party’s ideological agenda, and forcing us to run the government from one manufactured crisis to the next. With millions of Americans still out of work and our economy struggling to stay on the right track, I hope Republicans will put the best interests of our economy and the middle class ahead of the demands of the Tea Party.”
Democratic Whip Rep. Steny Hoyer:
“This morning, we received news that our economy added 154,000 private-sector jobs in the month of July; with layoffs of public employees factored in, we added 117,000 net jobs. It is encouraging that our private sector has added jobs for 17 straight months, and that our economy has come a long way from the days, at the beginning of President Obama’s term, when it was losing 700,000 jobs per month. But today’s report is still unsatisfactory for the millions of Americans who remain unemployed and for the millions more waiting to feel the effects of economic recovery. Clearly, we must do more.
“It is truly disappointing, then, that Republicans in Congress are intent on doing so little. After more than half a year in the House majority, Republicans have yet to put forward a jobs agenda; instead, they have expended far more energy on holding our economy hostage in order to force through their ideological demands. But when Americans voted for a divided government, they also voted for shared responsibility–and I hope that Republicans will rise to that responsibility by finally beginning to deliver on their promise of job creation. One way to do so is to cooperate with Democrats on enacting the Make It In America plan: a legislative agenda designed to revitalize American industry and create well-paying, middle-class manufacturing jobs. With the index of manufacturing activity showing a troubling drop in July, it is especially important to concentrate our efforts on strengthening this vital sector. I urge Republicans to join us in helping American manufacturers stay here, grow here, innovate here, make products here, and sell them to the world.”
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