March 7 (Bloomberg) — The U.S. unexpectedly lost jobs in February for the second consecutive month, adding to evidence the economy is in a recession.
Payrolls fell by 63,000, the most in five years, after a revised decline of 22,000 in January, the Labor Department said today in Washington. The jobless rate declined to 4.8 percent, reflecting a shrinking labor force as some people gave up looking for work.
And, Bloomberg reports, manufacturing payrolls declined by 52,000, the biggest reduction since July 2003, after falling 31,000 a month earlier.
The unemployment rate for last month dipped to 4.8 percent, but today’s report of negative job growth in February shows that the president’s concerns about the near term challenges to the economy are right on target. It also underscores the importance of keeping taxes low and making the president’s tax cuts permanent, so workers can keep more of their hard earned wages.
UPDATE (10:25 a.m.): Boy, that’s quick. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer reacts by saying, vote Democrat.
The Bush Administration seems flummoxed when it comes to the economy, and has taken a ‘hands-off’ approach. It is imperative that our nation and our economy head in a new direction, and that will only occur when a Democrat occupies the White House.
Hoyer’s full statement in the extended entry.
WASHINGTON, DC – House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (MD) released the following statement this morning after the Labor Department reported that the U.S. economy lost 63,000 jobs in February, the largest monthly job decline in nearly five years:
“The steep job loss for February reported today by the Labor Department is simply confirmation that the Bush Administration’s economic policies are failing the American people, and another indication of the economic insecurities that face hard-working families.
“What is especially troubling is that this is the second straight month of job losses, and that the Labor Department had to reduce their original numbers for December and January. Only 41,000 jobs were created in December – far less than the 82,000 originally reported and well below the monthly increase of 150,000 that is necessary just to keep pace with population growth. Even more jobs were lost in January than previously stated, with 22,000 jobs lost as opposed to the 17,000 announced a month ago.
“The bipartisan economic stimulus passed by the Democratic Congress and signed into law by President Bush earlier this year was an important step forward, but it cannot possibly make up for the dismal performance of our economy over the last seven years. Under this Administration, household incomes are down, while the number of uninsured has skyrocketed, poverty has risen, college costs have exploded, and gas prices have more than doubled.
“The Bush Administration seems flummoxed when it comes to the economy, and has taken a ‘hands-off’ approach. It is imperative that our nation and our economy head in a new direction, and that will only occur when a Democrat occupies the White House.”
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