Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on February Jobs Report

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–March 9, 2012.  Our wounded economy continues to show positive signs of growth, but it will take some time before the benefits reach many middle-class and working poor families. In the face of so many headwinds, we need a far stronger commitment to robust policy action to create enough jobs to truly improve the lives of working people. We must reinforce the President’s efforts to revive an economy that works for the 99 percent, and we must block the destructive agenda of the 1 percent and their Republican political allies.

Last month the economy added 227,000 jobs, continuing the positive trend of the past seventeen months. Continued job growth and a stabilized unemployment rate, now at 8.3 percent, pay tribute to the leadership of the President – especially in the face of the Republican leaders’ stubborn refusal to support job creation. Our economy remains afflicted by long term-unemployment, stagnant wages and a record high wealth gap. Our task of repairing the economy is only made more difficult by Republican misguided demands for austerity and further tax cuts for the one percent.

Given the magnitude of the job losses experienced in the Great Recession and ongoing global economic weakness, we need bold solutions that are as big as the problems we face. President Obama has rightly warned that we cannot go back to a bubble and bust economy built on a pile of sand. We must instead build an economy built to last. By contrast, Congressional Republicans and GOP candidates running for President would have us repeat the mistakes that caused the crash of 2008 and the Great Recession. Their austerity agenda concentrates wealth in the hands of a few and promises to further deepen the wealth divide and smother the economic recovery.