Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis
Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis' statement on September employment numbers
October 2, 2009
"This past September, the economy lost 263,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate increased to 9.8 percent.
"At the beginning of this year, the economy was in an unprecedented freefall, shedding 700,000 jobs a month. This administration met these challenges head on by putting a plan in place designed to create jobs and drive economic growth through a combination of tax relief for individuals and businesses, aid to hard-hit families and state and local governments, and funding for science, technology and infrastructure projects across the country.
"Seven months into the Recovery Act, it is clear that this program is successfully fulfilling its broad mission of helping those harmed by the economic crisis, aiding in our recovery and laying a new foundation to keep America competitive in the 21st century.
"According to estimates from the Council of Economic Advisors, the Recovery Act and other policies saved or created approximately one million jobs through the end of August. These jobs span the spectrum of the economy, from technicians working on the next generation of hybrid batteries, to welders who are critical to building and repairing bridges vital to our national infrastructure, to teachers and police officers who would have been laid off had it not been for aid to state and local governments.
"And just yesterday, Vice President Biden announced a new administration-wide goal of obligating 60 percent of the $499 billion estimated in spending under the Recovery Act before the end of the 2009. This includes a plan to provide $5 billion in capital to more than 12,000 small businesses through two key lending programs continuing to keep us ahead of schedule in getting Recovery Act money out the door.
"I have met many workers who lost their jobs through no fault of their own who have told me that they just want to get back to work and be productive. I've seen this spirit all across the country. At the Department of Labor, we are working tirelessly to ensure that we fulfill our responsibility to provide these workers with the assistance they need today.
"We have invested nearly $4 billion toward workforce training in high growth and emerging sectors, where we know that workers can find good jobs. Our more than 3,000 One-Stop Career Centers across the country provide basic employment search help and job training. There are many opportunities available at these centers for workers who wish to access training to gain the skills necessary to be successful not only in their job searches, but in their careers.
"We still have a ways to go before we can be sure that all Americans have access to good jobs, but I am confident that we will reach that goal. And I will make sure that the Department of Labor is supporting workers every step of the way."