Secretary of Labor Breaks Down the Numbers

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On Friday, Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis released a statement in which she gave her interpretation of April’s employment statistics.

April’s numbers included  an increase in the number of jobs added to the economy from the previous month, but unemployment also went up slightly.

Nonfarm payroll employment added 244,000 jobs and the private sector had a net increase of 268,000 jobs.  These numbers exceeded expectations, and were characterized by Solis as “encouraging job growth.”

According to Ms. Solis’s statement, the uptick in unemployment (up to 9.0 percent in April from 8.8 the previous month) should be kept in perspective.  keeping in mind “that unemployment had fallen a full percentage point over the previous four months.”

“Job growth over the last three months indicates that our recovery has picked up pace, although we clearly have more work to do,” she continued, and then added,  “We will not be satisfied until every American who wants to work can find a job.”

Her biggest concern seemed to be the high rate of teenage unemployment, which is hovering at 25 percent.  She called on businesses to “reaffirm their commitment to our economic success of tomorrow by investing in young workers today.”  To help with that effort the Department of Labor “has launched a summer jobs initiative, forging partnerships among government, employers, and local communities to ensure our young workers share in our economic recovery.”

Finally, she added that while our government needs to “live within it’s means,” we also have to invest in our future.

The upshot of her statement seemed to be that the numbers are encouraging and our economy is recovering, but we still have a long way to go.  And she ended on this encouraging note: “President Obama and I are committed to protecting the investments that will create new industries and new jobs, and lead to a full recovery.”

By Marie Larsen