The nation added just 80,000 jobs in the month of June, while the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 8.2 percent, according to new data from the federal government out Friday.
“The trend of slow job growth is both frustrating and heartbreaking. The economy added only 80,000 net new jobs last month – not nearly enough to bring unemployment down and fuel a robust recovery,” says Richard Trumka, head of the AFL-CIO labor organization and often a key ally for President Obama.
“Republicans in Congress have responded to a massive jobs shortage and weak economy with obstructionism and dishonesty. They have repeatedly blocked public investment that would create jobs and spur growth, including President Obama’s American Jobs Act,” Trumka adds. “They have held up countless necessary bills, including relief for student loans, by insisting on yet more tax cuts for the richest one percent and preserving existing tax breaks for outsourcers. They push a politics of austerity, which here and in Europe is strangling our economy.”
The continued poor jobs growth could rob the president of a key narrative as he fights for re-election, in which he would like to argue the struggling economy is making steady improvement on his watch.
Trumka blasted GOP priorities of “more tax cuts for the richest one percent and more layoffs for teachers and firefighters.”
“The cruel reality is Mitt Romney and his Republican allies in Congress are willing to sabotage the recovery in the hope of scoring political points against the President,” he says. “Cutting back on policies that provide relief for millions of working families is not just bad policy, it’s immoral. Working people are willing to take the lead to get our economy back on track, but they need our policymakers to do their part. By investing in jobs, reconnecting wages to productivity growth and ending policies that ship jobs overseas, we can turn things around. The labor movement is committed to pushing for these deeper changes and reforms that bring us together and make America strong.”
Indeed, Republicans immediately seized on the dismal June jobs numbers, with one GOP-aligned super PAC quickly launching a $25 million ad buy attacking Obama in eight battleground states in the presidential election. That ad, called “Excuses,” reportedly is to begin running next week and continue into August.