Chairman Cleaver’s Statement on the Recent Unemployment Numbers

Washington, DC – Chairman Emanuel Cleaver released the following statement on the recent unemployment numbers:

“For the first time in more than two years the national unemployment rate fell to its lowest rate, 8.6 percent from 9 percent. I am pleased the private sector added 120,000 jobs over the past month, representing the twenty-first straight month of increase. These are positive signs for our recovery, but as long as the Republican Leadership continues to avoid passing a real jobs plan this country will not be able to achieve the kind of significant job creation we need.

“Unemployment for African Americans rose slightly to 15.5 percent from 15.1 percent, which continues to be a crisis that we must address with tangible solutions.  Well over 300 days into the 112th Congress with no action on jobs, the Republican leadership continues to bring forth divisive ideas instead of ensuring that we do our job as legislators and pass a comprehensive jobs bill. Senate Republicans had a chance to demonstrate to the American people that they can protect the interests of the American people, but failed. They blocked consideration of three different jobs bills over the past month. Members of the Congressional Black Caucus have seen firsthand the devastating economic conditions of millions of African American families and millions of other American families through our national ‘For the People’ Jobs Initiative. CBC members have introduced over fifty job creation bills since the beginning of the 112th Congress, in addition to providing nine job creation recommendations that target the needs of our nation’s most vulnerable communities.


“To stand idly by and allow our nation’s economic condition to deteriorate in the name of politics as usual, at the American people’s expense, is outrageous. It is time for this Congress to respond to the needs of the American people by taking real action on jobs. President Obama has introduced a solid bipartisan jobs plan–the American Jobs Act–which will put millions of Americans back to work. The members of the CBC are doing all we can, but we need the entire Congress to put politics aside for the betterment of the country.”

“It is critical that Congress does not adjourn for the year without extending the emergency unemployment compensation benefits that millions of Americans rely on to avoid falling into poverty. That is why Members of the Congressional Black Caucus addressed this critical matter on the House floor to speak for those voiceless Americans who continue to suffer from unemployment, and urged the House Leadership to extend current federal unemployment insurance programs through 2012.

“The time for bold action on jobs is now.”

- Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, II

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