Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-17) said the April jobs report was a sign the economy is improving but it also makes clear that Congress cannot continue to sit on the sidelines. The 12-term Congressman said “we must begin passing legislation to aid the private sector in putting Americans back to work.”
The economy added 115,000 jobs in April, and had another 53,000 added in revisions to the March and February reports. The unemployment rate dropped again, but slightly to 8.1%. The economy has now added approximately 1 million jobs since December 2011, and has had 26 consecutive months of private sector job growth. Over the past two years, over 4.2 million private sector jobs have been created.
Rep. Engel said, “Our country is still recovering from the economic freefall that cost us about 4.6 million jobs during those dark months at the tail end of the Bush Administration. It has taken this long to get close to recovering all of those lost jobs. The bottom line is that the situation was dire and it should have been an ‘all hands on deck’ moment for everyone – public and private sector, Democrats and Republicans.
“However, it has not been. Republicans in Congress have fought President Obama on every single attempt to create jobs. Since they have taken control of the House, they have had no urgency to work towards legislation to put people back on the job. We have to work together to pass meaningful legislation – and there has been no desire from the GOP leadership to do anything with Democrats. We could have worked together to pass a new hire tax credit – but that didn’t happen. We could have passed a comprehensive transportation and infrastructure bill – but that failed to muster enough GOP support to pass. It is clear that jobs numbers are being used as a political weapon to be used against the President, and I believe that is a grave injustice to the out-of-work Americans looking to Washington for help. There is much we could do to help the many working families struggling with unemployment, or under-employment. Together, we can help them, divided we can only fall short.”