Chairman Cleaver’s Statement on the February Unemployment Numbers

Washington, D.C. – Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, II released the following statement on the recent unemployment numbers:


“February marks two years of consecutive month-to-month growth in private sector employment, which gives us all hope that our economy is slowly but surely recovering. 233,000 jobs were added last month and overall unemployment remained steady at 8.3%. African American unemployment rose this month from 13.6 percent to 14.1. We cannot fully rebound or recover when a major segment of our nation’s population continues to struggle. More importantly, we cannot wait for opportunities to trickle down.


“The Republican Leadership has refused to take any real action on jobs after 400 days into the 112th Congress. The CBC has led the way with our many efforts, from the ‘For the People’ Jobs Initiative, to over fifty pieces of jobs legislation offered by Members of the Congressional Black Caucus, national job fairs and finally to nine job creation recommendations for the Obama Administration. When meeting with the President, CBC Members highlighted the desperate need for youth jobs. We were pleased when President Obama announced the Summer Jobs Initiative, which will provide $1.5 billion for high-impact summer jobs and year-round employment for low-income youth ages 16-24, as part of the American Jobs Act’s Pathways Back to Work Fund.


“Finally, the Republican Leadership has refused to even consider President Obama’s American Jobs Act, which would provide opportunities for hard-working American families. By denying the American people opportunities, we are denying ourselves full economic recovery. The American Jobs Act is not a hand out, it is a hand up out of poverty, out of debt, out of foreclosure and most importantly, out of hopelessness. The Republican Leadership has failed the American people, and the country can wait no longer while those in our most vulnerable communities continue to suffer. Their sufferings are our own. I am hoping that my colleagues will give hard-working American families the chance they so rightly deserve.”



-Chairman Emanuel Cleaver, II

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