Jobless Rate Remains at 10 Percent
Updated: 4:19 p.m.The economy continued to shed jobs and the unemployment rate remained at 10 percent in December, according to the latest numbers released Friday by the Labor Department. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 85,000 jobs were lost last month. The report said employment fell particularly in construction, manufacturing and wholesale trade industries. Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement that the unemployment numbers are a reminder of how important it is for Congress to keep job growth and the economy at the forefront of the agenda. “Signs of growth in recent months will not restore the security of lost paychecks or reassure families still struggling to make ends meet,— Pelosi said. “We must take action to keep our economy on the road to recovery.—The White House downplayed the numbers and stressed that the economy would take time to fully recover from the recession. “As the president has said for a year, the road to recovery will not be a straight line,— said Christina Romer, chairwoman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers. “The monthly employment and unemployment numbers are volatile and subject to substantial revision. Therefore, it is important not to read too much into any one monthly report, positive or negative.—But Congressional Republicans were quick to criticize Democrats for failing to make good on their promises to create jobs through the $787 billion economic stimulus last year. The GOP has deemed the stimulus a “failure— and criticized the Democrats for not focusing enough on economic recovery. “A jobless recovery is a far cry from what the American people were promised last winter when Washington Democrats jammed through a trillion-dollar stimulus’ that they said would create jobs immediately,’— House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) said in a statement. “Instead, roughly three million Americans have lost their jobs since then, and joblessness remains in the double-digits.— House Republican Conference Chairman Mike Pence (Ind.) warned that the Democratic agenda would make the jobless numbers worse. “Democrats continue to advance a liberal agenda that is doing more harm than good,— Pence said in a statement Friday. “The policies of higher taxes, runaway spending, record debt and government takeovers are having a chilling effect on jobs creators across the country.—Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) called the job numbers “a disappointment— but said Democratic initiatives, like the economic stimulus that passed last year, have helped “soften the blow— of the economic downtown. “Those results, while significant, are clearly not enough — and that is why, last month, the House passed another bill to create jobs for Americans with much-needed infrastructure projects; keep teachers, police, and firefighters on the job; and stimulate our economy by providing assistance to those still out of work,— Hoyer said.