WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez issued the following statement about the January 2015 Employment Situation report released today:
"2015 is picking up right where 2014 left off — with strong, steady, sustained job growth that is leading a dynamic recovery.
"Employers and workers alike are showing renewed confidence in the economy, which added 257,000 jobs in January (267,000 in the private sector). Private employers have now created 11.8 million jobs over the last 59 consecutive months of growth since early 2010. The January unemployment rate is 5.7 percent.
"In the fourth quarter of his presidency, President Obama is committed to policies that will further invigorate the economy, creating more opportunity that leads to rising incomes and broadly shared prosperity. In his State of the Union address, he outlined an agenda based on middle-class economics and the belief that everyone willing to work hard should have the chance to get ahead in America.
"To support that vision, the president has offered a 2016 budget that invests in our people and their potential, while reforming the tax code and further reducing the deficit. By making two years of community college free for responsible students and expanding apprenticeships, we can help more people get the skills they need to succeed in 21st century jobs. By providing greater access to child care and promoting paid leave, we can ease the burden on working families, making their paychecks go further and giving them greater economic security.
"2014 was a breakthrough year for the nation and the economy. With sound leadership and smart investments, we can have a strong 2015, while laying the foundation for further growth in the long run."