OPA News Release: [05/03/2013]
Contact Name: Bennett Gamble
Phone Number: (202) 693-4667
Release Number: 13-0869-NAT
Statement of acting Labor Secretary Seth D. Harris on April employment numbers
WASHINGTON Acting Secretary of Labor Seth D. Harris issued the following statement about the April 2013 Employment Situation report released today:
"This morning's report shows that the economy added 165,000 total nonfarm jobs in April, and the unemployment rate dipped to 7.5 percent, a four-year low. That means 6.8 million new jobs over 38 consecutive months of private-sector job growth following the Great Recession. The revisions to February and March that show additional employment gains of 114,000 jobs are further indication that to this point 2013 has shown a fuller, more accelerated jobs recovery than we have yet seen.
"The unemployment rate has declined by 0.4 percentage point since January. In April, the number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks or more) declined by 258,000. Significant gains this month in professional and business services, health care and retail employment are indications that many of the jobs being added are providing good, middle-class opportunities for the unemployed. The bottom line is that people are finding work: There are 1.65 million more people working today than 12 months ago.
"But let us not mistake a report that exceeds our expectations with unequivocal economic success. The difference between a moderate jobs report and an excellent report is the sequester. These misguided, arbitrary budget cuts are putting the brakes on an economy that is gaining momentum in the private sector – just when we need to hit the gas. Because of the sequester, we are not creating the abundance of new jobs that will put everyone who wants to work back on the job and end the cruel game of economic musical chairs that leaves so many hard-working people out of work when the music stops. We need a balanced approach that makes investments in job-creating activities while pursuing a long-term deficit reduction strategy.
"President Obama has proposed several measures that will jump-start the economy and catalyze job growth. He continues to push for infrastructure investments that will breathe new life into the construction industry, in particular. In addition to physical infrastructure, we need to modernize our skills infrastructure, providing the training and investments in human capital that will prepare people for good jobs and give them ladders of opportunity."