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Economy and Jobs
Congress must come together to create jobs, restore confidence in our economy, and rebuild the middle-class.
The most recent employment report provides further evidence that the U.S. economy is continuing to heal from the wounds inflicted by the worst downturn since the Great Depression. We lost more than 8 million jobs as a result of the Great Recession. Since the President has taken office, we have seen the number of private sector jobs increase for 37 straight months, adding 6.5 million private sector jobs during that time period.
I remain committed to working together with my colleagues across the aisle to extend unemployment insurance benefits, payroll tax cuts, and infrastructure investments to help the middle class in the Fifth District and across the country. From the American Jobs Act to the Farm Bill, there are plenty of things we in Congress can do to help spur the economy and create jobs. If Congress could come together to pass the entire American Jobs Act, which includes further investment in infrastructure to rebuild our Nation’s ports, roads and highways, and assistance to state and local governments to prevent layoffs and to enable them to rehire hundreds of thousands of teachers and first responders, then we could create more than a million jobs.
According to the Labor Department’s most recent report, private sector businesses added 88,000 jobs in March. Total non-farm payroll employment rose by 88,000 jobs last month. The economy has now added private sector jobs every month for three straight years, and a total of 6.5 million jobs have been added over that period. The household survey showed that the unemployment rate fell from 7.7 percent in February to 7.6 percent in March, the lowest since December 2008. The labor force participation rate edged down 0.2 percentage point to 63.3 percent in March. It is important to bear in mind that the reference period for the household and establishment surveys came after the beginning of sequestration.
According to the establishment survey, in February employment rose notably in professional and business services (+51,000), construction (+18,000), health care (+15,000), leisure and hospitality (+13,000). Employment in the manufacturing industry showed little change over the last month. The manufacturing sector has added over half a million jobs over the last 37 months, the most for any such period since 1986. In the last two years the construction sector has added 324,000 jobs, with half of that increase occurring in the last six months. In March, the retail and trade industry lost 24,000 jobs. State and local government’s jobs numbers showed little change in March. However, the local government education sector has now lost 340,700 jobs since its recent peak in November 2009.
As you know better than anyone, there is more work that remains to be done. Long-term unemployment is still a problem, with 4.8 million people still looking for a job for more than six months. And the broader unemployment rate, known as the U-6 figure, decreased to 13.8 percent in March. This is unacceptable. Congress remains trapped by crises of its own making, but I am ready to work together again and soon, to address high poverty rates, a depressed housing market, and large household debt burdens experienced by all too many. Most of all, we must create jobs, restore confidence in our economy, and rebuild the middle-class. I will continue to focus my efforts on creating jobs and keeping our economy moving in the right direction. It is what is necessary – and what is right for the people of Missouri’s Fifth District.
For more information concerning my work and views on the issues of Economy and Jobs, please contact my Washington, DC office.
I look forward to your feedback.
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