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Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez
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News Release

OPA News Release: [02/05/2010]
Contact Name: Bennett Gamble
Phone Number: (202) 693-4667
Release Number: 10-0179-NAT

Statement of US Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis on January employment numbers

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement on the January 2010 Employment Situation report released today:

"This past January, the economy lost 20,000 jobs, and the unemployment rate dropped to 9.7 percent.

"While today's report shows positive signs that the economy is moving in the right direction, the numbers underscore that we still have work to do to get Americans back to work.

"The president has made it clear that job creation is our number one focus in 2010. The president has proposed a broad approach toward job creation that includes assistance for small businesses, large-scale infrastructure projects, and investments in clean energy.

"To get small businesses growing again, and growing our economy, the president has emphasized a focus on small businesses. Today, he'll outline his plan to help small businesses get access to credit to increase working capital, and the funds necessary for small business owners to grow their businesses.

"The president has also proposed a Small Business Jobs and Wages Tax Cut to encourage small businesses to add employees and to expand wages. The new jobs tax credit doesn't just reward new jobs; it also rewards better jobs. And providing "good jobs for everyone" has been the focal point of my agenda.

"At the Department of Labor we are supporting this administration's emphasis on jobs by training workers. When businesses are ready to hire, we want to make sure they can find skilled workers and that the millions of unemployed have the right skills for those jobs. Through the Recovery Act we put nearly $4 billion into our workforce system for training and reemployment services.

"Over the past few months we have released nearly half a billion dollars for research and job training grants in high-growth industries, such as clean and renewable energy. And, in the very near future, we will invest an additional $220 million in training workers for jobs in healthcare and other high-growth industries such as manufacturing and biotechnology, supporting this administration's emphasis on rebuilding our manufacturing capacity and increasing exports.

"Despite the bumpy road to recovery, we have made progress. Gross domestic product rose a very strong 5.7 percent in the fourth quarter. Strong and steady growth is needed for job growth to return and to put Americans back to work.

"We are focused on doing everything possible to stem job losses, stimulate the economy and make "good jobs for everyone" a reality. There are clear signs of progress in this effort, but we remain well aware that our nation can't reach its full potential while a single American is unemployed or underemployed."