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  • Kevin Boland
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  • 10/07/2011

Where are the Jobs? Unemployment Rate Has Been Higher Than 8% for More Than 2 ½ Yrs

Jobs & the Economy

Today’s unemployment report, which noted that the unemployment rate remains stuck at 9.1 percent, underscores the importance of finding common ground to create a better environment for private-sector job creation.  As Speaker Boehner stated today, “Republicans have outlined for President Obama possible areas of common ground, and just yesterday we passed a bipartisan measure to stop excessive regulations that threaten thousands of American jobs. Unfortunately, while the House has passed more than a dozen jobs bills this year, most have yet to receive a vote in the Democratic-led Senate.”  

Speaker Boehner also noted that that: 

"Our unemployment rate has been higher than eight percent for more than two-and-a-half years, far above what the Obama Administration promised with the ‘stimulus.’ For many groups, including teenagers, Hispanics, and African Americans, the jobless rate is even higher. These sad numbers show that more Washington spending, threats of higher taxes on small businesses, and excessive government regulations don’t create a healthy environment for job growth. The American people are asking the question: ‘where are the jobs?’ The Democrats running Washington need to stop campaigning, start listening, and start working with Republicans to liberate our struggling economy and remove government barriers to private-sector job growth.”

Our economy isn’t growing fast enough to create private sector jobs.  As the following news reports indicate, millions of Americans are still hurting, and need Washington to focus on removing government barriers to private sector job creation: 

>> BROADER UNEMPLOYMENT RATE HITS 16.5%, HIGHEST LEVEL OF 2011: “The U.S. jobless rate was flat at 9.1% in September, but the government’s broader measure of unemployment rose to 16.5%, the highest rate this year....The broader rate increased despite a rise of 398,000 in the number of people who are employed, as the increase was canceled out by new entrants to labor force. Meanwhile, the number of unemployed people in the U.S. increased by just 25,000. But if the labor force increases continue to outpace the rises in the number employed, the headline 9.1% rate could move higher in the coming months.” (“Broader Jobless Rate Hits 16.5%, Highest Level of 2011,” Wall Street Journal, 10/7/11)

>> ECONOMIST SAYS “JOB MARKET HAS BEEN SO SLOW”: “’This is not the kind of job growth that brings unemployment down,’ said James Glassman, senior economist at JP Morgan Chase & Co…‘The sobering thing about all this is because the job market has been so slow we have not had a normal flow coming into the job market, so that’s why unemployment isn’t going up,’ Glassman said....Unemployment has exceeded 8 percent since February 2009, the longest stretch of such elevated joblessness since monthly records began in 1948.” (“U.S. Payrolls Rise More-Than-Expected 103,000; Jobless Rate Stays at 9.1%,” Bloomberg News, 10/7/11)

>> NYT NOTES “THIS IS A CRUMMY RECOVERY”: “The word ‘recovery’ or ‘expansion’ does not resonate with normal people,' said Allen L. Sinai, chief global economist at Decision Economics, a consulting firm. 'It resonates only with economists, because technically, we are in a recovery.'...'I have a two-word description,' said Mr. Sinai, who pointed out that since employment started increasing again in March 2010 (lagging behind the official end of the recession), the average gain has been about 110,000 jobs per month, not even enough to keep up with population growth. 'This is a crummy recovery.'” (“What Do You Call This ‘Recovery’?” New York Times, 10/6/11)

>> NEW SURVEY REPORTS “US WORKERS SEE GRIM CAREER FUTURE”: “More than half of US employees think that economic malaise and volatility in the financial markets will have a long-term impact on their career, while sentiment among the unemployed reached renewed lows, according to a new survey....Meanwhile, nine out of 10 unemployed job seekers believe the market volatility will impact their ability to find a job. Uncertainty among this group is the highest in five quarters, with 36 per cent unsure as to whether they will be employed within six months. At least half expect base pay to be lower, while 45 per cent say they are more likely to accept a job they are overqualified for.” (“US workers see grim career future,” Financial Times, 10/4/11)

Republicans have been focused on removing government barriers to private sector job creation.  Just this past week, House moved on two jobs bills to stop government overregulation that threatens more than 200,000 jobs. Washington Democrats should work with House Republicans to move the dozen jobs bills that are stuck in the Senate, and drop their calls for tax hikes on job creators.

READ MORE: 

Instead of Working with GOP on Common Ground, Dems Pitch More Job-Crushing Tax Hikes

GOP Freshmen Blast Democrat-Run Senate For Failure to Pass a Budget 888 Days & Running

GOP Pushes Job-Creating Agenda, Stopping Excessive Washington Regulations

House GOP Announces Plan for America’s Job Creators