Washington, DC – Warning that today’s focus on budget cuts are clearly harming the economy, the Campaign for America’s Future said today that today’s rising unemployment rate (9.2 percent) is the result of public spending cuts and the abandonment of efforts to spur economic growth by both political parties in Washington.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the nation’s unemployment rate is up this month to 9.2 percent. With a total of only 18,000 net new jobs added in June, this dismal total is the result of both weak private sector jobs growth and the reality that is that state governments are laying off employees. According to the BLS, 39,000 government jobs were cut, after 48,000 government workers lost their jobs in May.
Roger Hickey, co-director of Campaign for America’s Future, reacted to this morning’s unemployment numbers. Statement from Roger Hickey, co-director, Campaign for America’s Future:
“These numbers are terrible, and they show that budget austerity is crippling the recovery. After the worst recession since the great depression, the federal government made an effort to stimulate growth and to help state and local governments prevent layoffs, but after unrelenting conservative pressure, those recovery efforts were abandoned, and Republicans and the President turned to premature deficit reduction. These numbers show dramatically that this is not the time for additional budget cuts.
“As a result of the end of federal stimulus support, state and local government employment declined in June, with more layoffs certain to come at all levels of government. But the surprising weakness in private sector job growth demonstrates that our country can’t expect private growth when the states are firing teachers, police and other public servants. Business won’t invest until they see customers ready to buy their products.
“Our elected leaders in Washington need to start focusing on jobs now. It’s not that hard: We need a spending plan to jumpstart job growth. First, do no harm: Postpone deficit cuts until the recovery revives, don’t cut Social Security cost-of-living increases, and help the states stop laying off teachers, cops and firefighters.
“Second, let’s get serious about passing and implementing jobs creating programs, as Democrats in Congress have suggested: investment in public infrastructure is one example that would have both short term and long term benefits for Americans.
“In order to re-build the American Dream we need to do better than this. We cannot pursue additional austerity when it is clearly sabotaging the economy. Americans want the chance to work hard to get ahead. And a full-employment economy is the best way to reduce deficits. Our leaders must stop meeting behind closed doors and must start working on implementing a jobs plan, today.”