WASHINGTON - Congressional Black Congress chairwoman, Rep. Barbara Lee, released the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics issued the July jobs report showing that unemployment held steady at 9.5 percent:
“Although the private sector grew by 71,000 jobs, the overall number of jobs decreased by 131,000, resulting in the unemployment rate remaining at 9.5 percent. While some sectors of the economy continue to show signs of improvement, many continue to lag behind, underscoring the need for the government to create jobs and stimulate the economy.
“State and local governments, including public schools, have been particularly hard hit and as a result were forced to layoff 48,000 workers around the country. These layoffs not only affect the level of services local governments provide, but they also hurt local economies because in many areas, local government is one of the principal employers.
“Additionally, unemployment rates for African Americans and Latinos remain unacceptably high at 15.6 percent and 12.1 percent, respectively, and highlighting the disproportionate impact the recession has had and the need for targeted efforts to address chronic unemployment.”