WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez issued the following statement about the April 2014 Employment Situation report released today:
"This morning's report demonstrates that the economy continues to rebound after a brutal recession that began in 2007. The economy generated 288,000 new jobs in April. The 273,000 created by private employers brings us to 9.2 million total new private-sector jobs over the last 50 months. Unemployment fell to 6.3 percent, the lowest since September 2008.
"I'm encouraged by this report, but we can't let one month of strong numbers diminish our sense of urgency or distract us from helping people who are still hurting. I meet too many working families who are barely getting by, let alone getting ahead. Their hard work and responsibility aren't being rewarded with the opportunity they deserve.
"To expand opportunity and ignite further economic growth, we need willing and engaged partners on Capitol Hill. But Congress continues to choose obstruction over action. While long-term unemployment remains near historic highs, it is now four months and counting since Congress took the unprecedented step of letting emergency unemployment benefits expire. Just two days ago, a minority of senators blocked a federal minimum wage increase embraced by a majority of Americans.
"President Obama is working every day to help more people climb ladders of success and punch their ticket to the middle class. He's fighting for infrastructure investment, immigration reform and other job-creating initiatives that enjoy broad public support. At the Labor Department this year, we will put on the street roughly $1 billion in new, targeted job-driven training funds that will help more people acquire the skills they need to succeed in the jobs of today and tomorrow.
"The president is committed to making this a year of action. He and I are eager to work with members of both parties to create more jobs, a stronger recovery and opportunity for all."