WASHINGTON, Aug. 6 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement on the July 2010 Employment Situation report released today:
"This past July, the economy gained 71,000 jobs in the private sector. Overall, employment declined by 131,000, and the unemployment rate was unchanged at 9.5 percent. This year we've seen the creation of 630,000 private sector jobs – steady growth averaging 90,000 new private sector jobs each month, which tracks closely with what the Council of Economic Advisors had predicted earlier this year.
"While this private sector job growth is encouraging, the large number of Americans without a job reminds us we need to continue working to create jobs and grow the economy. When President Obama came into office, he inherited an economy that was losing as many as 750,000 jobs each month. To help put people back to work, we passed a Recovery Act for Main Street, which already has saved or created more than 2.5 million American jobs.
"At the end of 2008, the economy was shrinking at a rate of 6.8 percent – a freefall that risked turning a recession into a depression. But because of the strong and immediate action President Obama and Congress took, that didn't happen. Instead, last week, we learned that our economy now has grown for four consecutive quarters. Economic growth is a prerequisite for job growth.
"The turnaround has been particularly dramatic in the auto industry, where we demonstrated our steadfast commitment to reviving American manufacturing. In the 12 months before President Obama took office, the American auto industry lost hundreds of thousands of jobs and sales plunged 40 percent.
"The president refused to give up on American workers and an industry that's the backbone of so many communities. Today the American auto industry is growing stronger, creating new American jobs, and manufacturing the fuel-efficient cars and trucks that will carry us toward an energy independent future. And since GM and Chrysler emerged from bankruptcy, our auto industry has added 55,000 jobs – the strongest period of job growth in more than 10 years.
"Even as the economy makes progress, this administration is aware of how much further we still have to go. That's why the president and I are pushing Congress to pass legislation that will prevent local budget cuts and save thousands of teacher, police and firefighter jobs across the country. We know that economic prosperity and educational success go hand in hand. We must work to ensure that teachers across the country can stay in the classroom and that cops, firefighters and teachers stay on the job.
"There is no room for partisan roadblocks when Americans are depending on their government's action and the stakes are this high. We hope that the House will pass this important legislation next week."
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SOURCE U.S. Department of Labor