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4/04/2005

March Employment Report Dismal

From AFL-CIO


Today’s extremely disappointing employment report reflects a job market stuck in the quagmire of bad public policies. Last month’s job growth fell way below expectations and was far too little even to accommodate new entrants to the workforce. More than 21 percent of the unemployed have been jobless for at least six months, and the number of long-term unemployed is at its highest level since December 2004. The number of individuals working part-time because they could not get full-time work increased. And we lost another 8,000 manufacturing jobs. All in all, the jobs report is frightening confirmation of the imbalance and unevenness of our economy.

Workers struggling to meet rising health care costs, gasoline prices and utility bills are falling further behind, victims of an economic recovery that is weak. Corporate profits are growing briskly but wages are stagnant and good-paying jobs continue to disappear. American consumer spending has grown strongly, but production has not. As a result, we must borrow over $2 billion dollars a day from abroad in order to buy the things we consume, but do not produce at home.

We need policies that produce a strong and more balanced economy that provides jobs with family supporting wages and benefits. Unfortunately, President Bush is more interested in tax cuts favoring the wealthy, budget cuts that hurt ordinary Americans and privatization of Social Security, a radical step that would only add to the economic insecurity that already plagues so many of our nation’s working families.

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