The Bureau of Labor Statistics released the monthly jobs report, showing few gains in the private sector while government payrolls continue to shrink. For the month of June, 18,000 jobs were created, good for an unemployment rate of 9.2 percent. Since March, 545,000 Americans joined the ranks of the unemployed, with the unemployment rate increasing by .4 points.
“It’s been more than 6 months since the House Republicans took control and we haven’t had one vote on a bill to create jobs,” said Congressman Ed Perlmutter in a prepared statement. “All the House Republicans have done is recklessly slash jobs for 238,000 federal, state and local workers while continuing excessive tax giveaways to millionaires and billionaires and loopholes for oil companies who send our jobs overseas.”
Along ethnic and gender lines, 8.1 percent of the white population is unemployed, though women enjoy a slightly higher rate of employment — 7.1 to 8.1. While 16.2 percent of blacks are unemployed, the rate of joblessness among black teenagers is 39.9 percent. For whites, that figure is 21.8 percent.
To help unemployed homeowners, the federal government yesterday announced it would extend the deferment period for individuals seeking work and in possession of a federally backed mortgage from three months to a year. 14 percent of active mortgages in the U.S. are federally-backed.
Elsewhere in the country, a government contractor in Duluth warned the government shutdown of Minnesota is crippling the anemic job market, claiming 1,000 construction jobs alone are on the cutting block if the Legislature will not agree to a budget compromise.
From the Duluth News Tribune:
With many current construction projects closed down, Dan Olson, business agent for Laborers’ Local 1091, said 1,000 Duluth area building trades workers are off the job. And without a state bonding bill — which pays for college buildings, bridges and other projects statewide — about 28,000 potential construction jobs will never be funded.
“We want a hiring plan, not a firing plan” from the Legislature, Olson said, adding that 20,000 state workers also are off the job during the shutdown, hurting the state economy.
“Last month, when the Republican leadership forced a vote on raising the debt ceiling – a vote that was intended to fail, the stock market dropped 279 points the next day,” Perlmutter said. “Each and every American lost approximately $1,300 in that day alone because their pensions, 401ks, IRAs and money market accounts lost enormous value.
“House Republicans need to stop playing these politically motivated games with our economy. The best thing to tackle our debt is to get people back to work by making things here in America, reduce our dependence on foreign oil and maintain the promise we made to our senior citizens,” Perlmutter said.
Scot Kersgaard contributed to this report.