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U.S. Unemployment is Still Falling—Don’t Muck it Up!

The seal of the United States Department of Labor

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The news looks good—really good.

According to a U.S. Department of Labor report, the United States created jobs at the fastest pace in nine months in January and the unemployment unexpectedly dropped to a near three-year low.

January’s revised unemployment shows a drop to 8.3% from 8.5% in December. Unemployment in the U.S. has not been that low since February 2009.

The economy added 257,000 jobs last month, higher than expected. Unemployment among African Americans fell by 2.2% to 13.6% – the largest one-month drop in recorded history. Manufacturing surged last month, adding 50,000 jobs. Fifty-two thousand construction jobs were added as well. The unemployment numbers exceeded all forecasts and provide the strongest evidence yet that our economic recovery is on track, according to Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis in a news release dated 3 February 2012.

President Obama welcomed the good news and urged Congress to extend a payroll tax cut and benefits for long-term unemployed, which expire at the end of this month.

The concern is that with momentum picking up on job growth, efforts to further increase employment could stagnate. If Congress does not extend the payroll tax cut and Unemployment benefit extensions, the nation’s economy could end up moving backwards.

Signs are starting to emerge that the economy is reaching a level of a self-sustaining economic expansion, but they are still on tender ground. Current efforts to strengthen business and economic growth cannot diminish yet.

Congress must get the message that they have to extend the payroll tax cut and Unemployment extensions a little longer before we can say that the work is done. Follow in the steps of President Obama and send a clear message to Congress: “Do not slow down the recovery that we are on, don’t muck it up.”

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About kimberlyjmyers

I am a workforce development professional in Washington State. I have ten years experience working with dislocated workers, vocationally impaired, and people with disabilities on many levels and backgrounds from offenders to non-English speaking refugees from around the world. The One thing the clients I have worked with all had in common: there was some barrier to employment, and I work diligently every day to identify, address and remove those barriers.

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