Brooklyn, N.Y. – Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke released the following statement on the latest jobs report, which indicated that the United States added 74,000 jobs in December, fewer than most economists had predicted.
The unemployment rate was reduced to 6.7 percent from 7.0 percent, attributable to a substantial decline in the number of people who participate in the job market. Almost four million Americans – one-third of the total of unemployed men and women – have been unable to work for more than six months, and will lose unemployment benefits unless Congress acts to extend the program.
“Our economy continues to recover. But there are many millions of people in the United States who cannot find a job or who have watched their wages decline. Millions of men and women, discouraged after an extensive job search, have left the market entirely,” said Congresswoman Clarke. “Even as the stock market has exceeded records and the richest Americans have the highest share of income and wealth in history, the majority of Americans have been excluded from these gains.”
“The members of Congress have reached a moment of decision. Will we support the programs, such as unemployment benefits and nutrition assistance, which we know are critical to both to the families who need help and to the economy as whole? Will we invest in our people by enacting a jobs bill and providing universal early childhood education? The quality of life for millions of people we represent depends on our answer.”
U.S. Representative Yvette D. Clarke is a member of the House Committee on Small Business, Ethics, and Homeland Security, where she is the Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Cybersecurity, Infrastructure Protection, and Security Technologies. She represents many neighborhoods in central and southern Brooklyn, NY which include Brownsville, Crown Heights, East Flatbush, Flatbush, Gerritsen Beach, Madison, Midwood, parts of Park Slope and Flatlands, Prospect Heights, Prospect-Lefferts Gardens, Sheepshead Bay, and Windsor Terrace.