Secretary Carlos Gutierrez’s statement on the March jobs report:
Today’s report of job losses and increased unemployment rate is disappointing. At the same time, it reinforces the importance of the stimulus plan the President recently signed into law. The provisions of this plan, which encourage business investment in new equipment, are beginning to take effect, and we expect them to provide a powerful incentive for job creation. And more than 130 million households will receive checks starting next month, which will supply an additional boost for our economy.
The Administration began addressing the problem on housing last year, and so far the FHA Secure program has helped more than 140,000 homeowners stay in their homes by refinancing about $20 billion worth of mortgages. To further address the housing situation, Congress must pass the FHA Modernization Act, pass legislation to reform the regulation of the Government Sponsored Enterprises and help at-risk homeowners by giving state and local governments the authority to issue tax-exempt bonds for mortgage refinancing.
“We recognize that the first half of this year is going to show slower growth and we are taking steps. It is important to recognize that key fundamentals of the economy remain sound. We are a competitive nation with a highly educated workforce, the most productive workers in the world, and unemployment, while higher than last month, is historically low.
“Trade remains a source of growth and exports support good-paying American jobs. We need to take advantage of trade opportunities and expand export markets to boost our economy. Congress should act to pass the Colombian Free Trade Agreement with the same sense of bipartisan urgency as they did the economic stimulus plan.
The fact sheet on necessary economic steps to take calls on Congress to enact the pending free trade agreements.
UPDATE (12:40 p.m.): A bit of contrariness from Newsbusters about the media…which is what they specialize in, and kudos for it.
Did you know that 574,000 and 1.1 million more Americans had jobs in March than in February and January, respectively?
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