U.S. Labor Secretary Perez comments on November jobs report
The November jobs report shows the American economy continues its broad and steady job growth heading into the New Year, adding 203,000 jobs. The unemployment rate dropped to 7.0 percent, and American manufacturing remained strong with the addition of 27,000 new jobs.
The report continues the 45-month trend of private-sector job growth, with 8.1 million new jobs created over that time. In the last 12 months alone, American businesses have added 2.3 million new private-sector jobs. This puts the American economy in a strong position heading into the December holiday season.
But despite broad-based job growth, the November report reminds us that far too many American families are still struggling to get by. The rate of unemployment for the long-term unemployed remains higher than at any point prior to the Great Recession. As the president underscored recently, growing inequality and a lack of upward mobility has jeopardized middle-class America’s basic bargain — that if you work hard, you have a chance to get ahead. This point was underscored by a report released recently highlighting that if Congress fails to act, 1.3 million workers and their families will lose Emergency Unemployment Compensation benefits immediately.
The progress made since the depths of the recession in 2010 is a testament to the resilience of the American economy and the American people. But we can and should be doing more. We must invest in infrastructure, pass comprehensive immigration reform, extend the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program and raise the minimum wage. Current job growth is happening in spite of Congress, not because of it. It’s time Congress does its part to accelerate job growth and give more Americans the chance to climb ladders of opportunity.