Unemployment Extension - No Progress From President Obama and Secretary of Labor

Unemployment Extension

Unemployment Extension

The unemployment issue continues to make headlines, but 99ers and other advocates for the addition of a new Tier 5 to the current unemployment benefits structure remain disappointed, with no progress being made with regard to unemployment extension.

President Obama recently commented on the unemployment issue during a speech addressing the American public, and assured citizens that the American economy was indeed recovering, but admitted that the process of recovery was taking longer than he had hoped it would. President Obama added, “That’s why we need to take further steps to create jobs and keep the economy growing, including extending tax cuts for the middle class and investing in the areas of our economy where the potential for job growth is greatest. In the weeks ahead, I’ll be discussing some of these ideas in more detail.” The President did not mention unemployment benefits extensions.

Secretary of Labor, Hilda L. Solis, also commented on the unemployment situation following the release of the August 2010 Employment Situation report: “This past August, the economy gained 67,000 jobs in the private sector, and the unemployment rate increased to 9.6 percent. Total nonfarm employment declined by 54,000 over the month, as 114,000 temporary census jobs wrapped up between July and August and more than offset the private sector job gains. We have now added private sector jobs for eight straight months, totaling 763,000 private sector jobs since the beginning of the year. While we need to pick up the pace of recovery, erase the job losses and get Americans back to work, this encouraging growth shows that we are headed in the right direction.”

Reflecting the tone of the President, Secretary of Labor Solis also assured Americans that the American economy was firmly on the road to recovery and also stressed the important role played by small businesses in the recovery of the economy. “To support growth, it is critical to support our small businesses, which are key drivers of our economic recovery,” said Solis. “Indeed, two out of every three jobs created in our economy are created by small businesses. So far, this administration has helped pass eight different tax cuts for small businesses, and we know there is more we can do to help. The Small Business Jobs Act, pending in the Senate, would provide a set of tax breaks and lending incentives to spur investment and hiring by small businesses. It would accelerate $55 billion of tax relief to encourage American businesses, small and large, to expand their investments over the next 14 months. We join the President, small business leaders and those Americans looking for work, and call upon the Senate to pass this critical piece of legislation to ensure that we continue on the path of recovery.”