Statement by AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on November Employment

Washington, DC–(ENEWSPF)–December 2, 2011. The news that the economy added 120,000 net new jobs in November confirms our steady, but too slow, economic recovery in a global context. While the drop in the unemployment rate is welcome news, 8.6 percent is still painfully high. The drop in the unemployment rate is due in part to people leaving the workforce. The continuing lackluster economic growth remains deeply concerning, as major dangers to the recovery persist.

Fallout from the European sovereign debt crisis and our own premature fiscal restraints threaten the already weak growth of only 2 percent expected next year by the OECD. Closing the 11 million jobs gap opened by the Great Recession will require far more aggressive growth.  

This week, however, instead of focusing on job creation, tone-deaf Republicans kept pressing forward on legislation to strip away long-standing safeguards of workers’ rights. Those in Congress should listen to working families and pass the American Jobs Act, starting with extending unemployment insurance and the payroll tax reduction.  As long as Congress continues to ignore these calls for action, our economic recovery remains in grave danger.

America wants to work — and it is politics as usual, not economic obstacles, standing in the way of putting people back to work. Our leaders must put partisanship aside and focus on job creation to bring balance to our broken, unequal economy.