WASHINGTON, DC (Link) – Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) Chair Marcia L. Fudge released the following statement today after the Department of Labor announced that the economy added 203,000 jobs and the unemployment rate dropped to 7 percent in November:
“Today’s report shows our economy continues to progress in the right direction. The unemployment rate dropped to 7 percent and African American unemployment dropped from 13.1 percent to 12.5 percent. This is encouraging news, as the African American unemployment rate has persistently been double the national rate and is still quite high.
“To continue this positive trend, we must invest and improve the job training programs in our communities that ensure our workforce has the skills needed for the jobs that are available. We must also ensure employers have a pipeline into our communities where they can find talent to meet their needs. The CBC has engaged our federal education and workforce leadership and is committed to working to ensure necessary resources are in place.
“We must also not allow the millions of Americans who are still out of work to fall behind. At the end of this year, unemployment insurance will expire for nearly 1.3 million people in this country, and will expire for nearly 800,000 more at the beginning of 2014. If Congress does not act to extend unemployment benefits by December 31, our economy will lose more than 200,000 jobs.
“We also have another looming budget deadline in January that must be met. If we do not have a budget plan by January 15, our nation’s Capital and the vital services our government provides would once again come to a standstill.
“The Congressional Black Caucus has proposed a morally responsible and fiscally sound budget that cancels the harmful cuts caused by the sequester, invests in education in our communities and protects vital programs like Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid. We will continue advocating for a fiscal plan that puts our country and its people back on the path to prosperity.”