WASHINGTON – Rep. Barbara Lee, Chairwoman of the Congressional Black Caucus, has released the following statement today after the Bureau of Labor Statistics issued the November jobs report showing that unemployment increased slightly to 9.8 percent:
“The number of Americans who continue to look for work and struggle from month to month means that we still must push forward and continue to enhance the Democratic policies that have helped stimulate our economy and create jobs.
“For too many families across the country, this recession only made a bad situation worse. Unemployment and high rates of poverty have plagued the chronically unemployed even in the best of times.
“The unemployment rates for African Americans grew slightly from 15.7 to 16.0 percent and the rates for Latinos grew somewhat from 12.6 to13.2 percent. These figures remain unacceptably high and continue to illustrate the disproportionate effect of this economic downturn. It is imperative for Congress to immediately pass legislation to stimulate the economy and create jobs, particularly for the chronically unemployed, including the 6.2 million Americans that have been unemployed for 27 weeks or more.
“For the past two years, the Democratic majority in the House of Representatives along with President Obama have worked tirelessly to pass legislation that invests in the American people and creates jobs all across the country. The Congressional Black Caucus, the President and Democratic leadership have been focused on helping the communities hardest hit by this recession.
“In the new year, we look forward to working with our Republican counterparts to continue to strengthen the policies that have successfully turned the economy around and we hope to find the common ground that will put the American people back to work.”