Rep. Eliot Engel (D-NY-17) said he was encouraged by the better-than-expected unemployment numbers for November, as the rate dropped to 8.6% in the nation, the lowest since March 2009.
In addition to the 120,000 jobs added, an upgrade of the September and October reports accounted for another 52,000 jobs. Engel repeated his call for passage of jobs legislation to boost the economy and get even more Americans back to work.
Last week, however, we reported that unemployment in the Bronx had increased over the past year.
Private payrolls in the country grew by 140,000 jobs in November after increasing by 117,000 in October, according to the recent report by the Department of Labor. This is the 21st consecutive month of private sector job growth. Government employment fell by 20,000 jobs as public payrolls have fallen for the tenth time in the last 11 months. Retail jobs surged in November, adding almost 50,000 jobs. Construction jobs fell slightly, while manufacturing rose. Health care and social assistance jobs rose by almost 20,000, while temporary hiring also increased by over 22,000. Temporary hirings are often seen as a sign of an increase in future permanent hirings.
Engel released a statement rejoicing in the improved numbers and calling for a jobs bill, something he's been blaming the Republicans on because they have refused to work with the other side of the aisle.
“Far too many families are still struggling with long-term unemployment – but it is much nicer to be talking about gaining 140,000 private sector jobs than the hundreds of thousands we lost during the months leading to the end of the Bush Administration. We need to use the positive signs seen this fall as a springboard to facilitate a stronger recovery," Engel said.
“This means setting aside political rancor and sending a bipartisan jobs bill to the President’s desk. The House Republican Majority refuses to work with the Democratic Minority, or the President, to put forth legislation to help create jobs, and instead is fixated on an ideological agenda ahead of helping middle and lower income families.
“It also means extending unemployment insurance for those still struggling to find work. In 75 years, we have never cut off unemployment insurance benefits when the unemployment percentage was so high. Hardly anyone receiving unemployment benefits chooses to be in this position, but until more jobs are created we must do what is necessary.
“Our economy is gradually making positive strides, in spite of Republican opposition to any effort to strengthen it. Imagine what we could do if they’d join our efforts to pass the American Jobs Act – or similar legislation. Let’s finally work together, and produce a jobs bill which helps the unemployed and aids employers at the same time.”