Sessions: Restoring Opportunity For American Workers Highest Priority For New GOP Congress

WASHINGTON—U.S. Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL), Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, issued the following statement today as the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the population of Americans not in the labor force increased to more than 92.4 million last month:

“While there was some modest improvement in this morning’s jobs report headline, millions of Americans felt another month go by out of work and with little hope of finding a job. The report gives the appearance of progress, but progress is hard to establish when the country has more people overall but less people working.

The facts are clear: there are now 9.1 million unemployed workers, an increase in the unemployed of 115,000 over last month. The unemployment rate increased significantly (by 0.6 percent) for those without a high school degree. Worse still, the number not in the labor force also increased by almost 100,000, pushing the number not working or looking for work to a staggering 92.4 million. After adjusting for inflation, median weekly earnings are lower today than they were in 2000 and median family income is $4,000 lower than it was in November 2007.

Reversing these heartbreaking trends and restoring opportunity for the American worker must be the highest priority for the new Republican Congress.