According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the U.S. economy created just 80,000 jobs in the month of June, fewer than expected and far lower than the number needed to accommodate population growth, much less begin reducing unemployment.
The unemployment rate, as calculated by the Department of Labor, remained unchanged at 8.2 percent. The real unemployment rate, which includes those who have given up looking for work as well as those forced to take part-time work because full time employment is not available, ticked was up to 14.9 percent. That means 23.4 million Americans are unemployed, underemployed or are so discouraged by this economy they have given up looking for work.
At either rate, it made June the 41st consecutive month in which unemployment has remained above 8 percent, the high-water mark President Obama promised we would never reach with enactment of his stimulus plan.
In case you were wondering, the private sector is not doing fine — but we didn’t need another jobs report to tell us that.
Businesses cannot create the kind of jobs we need unless we tackle the uncertainty plaguing our economy. Unfortunately, Washington is doing just the opposite by failing to provide the leadership our country needs and allowing a fiscal cliff to loom in the distance.
That cliff — the combined impact of the largest tax increase in American history and indiscriminate cuts both set to take effect in January — would take more than $500 billion out of the economy in 2013 alone and could send the country back into a recession, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office.
The House has already acted to prevent the indiscriminate cuts, replacing them with targeted reductions and savings. While there is bipartisan agreement that the cuts should be prevented – and the president’s own Secretary of Defense has said they would “hollow out” our national defense – only the House has acted.
Later this month, the House will vote to prevent the tax increase and provide for tax simplification that lowers rates and closes special-interest loopholes. We will also vote on legislation to curtail excessive government regulations as well as for the full repeal of Obamacare, which many businesses cite as one of the largest contributors to uncertainty.
The fastest route to job creation and economic growth is through a three-pronged strategy of halting overly-burdensome government regulations, simplifying the tax code and increasing American energy production to bring down costs and create jobs.
While government cannot create jobs, it can foster an environment that empowers job creators to expand their enterprises.
If you need evidence this administration is doing the opposite, just look to the Keystone Pipeline. That is a $7 billion private investment that would create 20,000 jobs and reduce our dependence on foreign oil. It should be a no-brainer, but President Obama continues to stand in its way.
In addition to the votes we will take this month, the House has advanced more than 30 bipartisan jobs bills that have not even been brought to a vote in the Senate. We have acted and provided a bipartisan basis to come together and re-ignite the American economy. Now we need honest partners in the Senate and President Obama.
Kingston, a Republican from Savannah, represents Georgia’s 1st District, which includes Liberty and Long counties.