Today, the Labor Department released data showing 95,000 more jobs were lost, resulting in total unemployment for the month of September at 9.6 percent. This means for the 14th month in a row, unemployment is at or above 9.5 percent, a marker not seen since the 1930’s. Additionally, yesterday’s polling by Gallup revealed that unemployment may be worse than what the Labor Department data shows. With a pointed increase in job losses during the second half of September, a very bad sign just before employers traditionally start hiring for the busy holiday season, total unemployment may actually be nearer to 10.1 percent. Lastly, figures from a Yahoo News report find that “Government job losses led the declines in September.” Nearly half of these losses were from local governments, who are predicted to continue cuts as local municipalities struggle to balance their own budgets.
Americans are ready for a new direction from their Congress— they do not believe that 10 percent unemployment is the new normal. The failed policies of the majority – the stimulus bills, bailouts and jobs programs – did nothing to bring jobs to Americans who so desperately need them. When Congress comes back into session, tax cuts should be extended immediately so our stagnant economy can get moving again. Despite attempts from Congressional Republicans to encourage growth, President Obama and Speaker Pelosi have failed to move Congress forward on pro-job policies. Across the board, the numbers show it.