Friday, October 2, 2009

September Jobs Report

The economy shed another 263,000 jobs in September and unemployment rose to 9.8 percent. These numbers are worse than previously forecast and represent the highest unemployment rate in 26 years. There are now six job seekers for each available job and over one-third of the 15 million unemployed workers have now been without a job for over 27 weeks. The only factor that kept the unemployment rate from rising even more is that 571,000 workers dropped out of the labor force last month.

The pace of economic decline and job loss has clearly let up from earlier this year, due in large part to the impact of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. However, without further fiscal stimulus, it seems very likely that heavy job losses will continue for several quarters and it will take years for unemployment to fall to pre-recession levels.

The economic crisis is a jobs crisis and there can be no strong and sustainable recovery until employment begins to grow. The Obama administration’s aggressive actions have clearly brought us “back from the brink” of what might have been a second Great Depression, but we will need sustained and expanded fiscal support if we are to see a robust recovery.

The Administration and Congress should continue to extend unemployment benefits and bolster aid to budget-constrained states and cities. Further, the Administration must speed public investment in education and training, repairing our nation’s deteriorating infrastructure and building a greener economy.

Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on September Jobs Report, October 2, 2009

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