Statement of Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis on March Employment Numbers

WASHINGTON–(ENEWSPF)–April 1, 2011.  Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement on the March 2011 Employment Situation report released today:

“Our nation’s labor market improved notably in the month of March. Nonfarm payroll employment increased by 216,000, and the unemployment rate decreased to 8.8 percent. Over the last four months, the unemployment rate has fallen by a full percentage point – its largest decline since 1984.

“Today’s numbers highlight steady, sustained and widespread job growth. Private employment has now grown for 13 consecutive months, with February and March showing the strongest growth since early 2006. And since its low point in February 2010, private sector employment has risen by 1.8 million.

“The bottom line: The policies and programs of this administration are working.

“But we know there’s still more work to be done for the millions of people who are either out of work or struggling to offset their rising costs with shrinking paychecks. It’s why one of President Obama’s goals has been to ensure a cleaner, safer and more secure energy future. And it’s why, this week, he laid out a plan that will finally break our dependence on foreign oil and move our nation toward a clean energy economy that creates jobs and keeps America competitive.

“The growth of the clean energy economy will bring significant changes to the American workplace and require workers to acquire new and different skills.  At the Labor Department, we are providing the training that will turn 20th century blue-collar jobs into secure 21st century green-collar jobs, while paving a pathway out of poverty; strengthening urban and rural communities; rebuilding a strong middle class; and protecting the health of our citizens and planet.

“We face big challenges, and fixing them will require a lot of hard work and sacrifice from everyone. But if we’re willing to come together and find common ground on these issues, then we can win the future. We can lay the foundation for American competiveness for years to come and give this generation, and pass on to the next, the type of America that our parents and grandparents left for us.

“While the employment situation is clearly improving, my mission remains the same: to create good and safe jobs for everyone. It is what the American people are counting on and a goal we will continue to keep at the forefront of everything we do.”