Washington, DC -- Congressman Eliot Engel (D-NY-17) released the following statement on the April job report indicating an addition of 244,000 jobs in the last month.  This is the largest increase in private sector employment since February 2006.

The government sector, however, cut 24,000 jobs, with 22,000 of those being from state and local government, reaching 440,000 lost jobs since September 2008. Job growth was the strongest in the retail sector, which gained over 57,000 jobs.  Strong gains were also found in the leisure and hospitality sector, the professional and business firms industry and the education/health care sector.  The unemployment rate ticked up by .2%, despite the growth in jobs, as more people have begun looking for work.

“This makes 14 consecutive months of jobs growth resulting in over 2 million private sector jobs added to the economy, with the manufacturing industry adding a quarter of a million jobs, since the end of 2009.  The unemployment rate still remains too high, especially for African-Americans, Hispanics and young Americans, but the progress is undeniable.

“However, instead of utilizing the resources of the federal government to help this recovery and get more people back to work, we are almost a quarter of the way finished with the 112th Congress and we have yet to even discuss a single jobs bill.  Instead, the Republican Majority has used this time to score political points and resurrect the old culture wars.  They continue to pursue an agenda which is tone deaf to the real needs of the American people – more jobs.  In addition, they have decided that it is a better idea to embark on a full-scale attack on Medicare and the social safety net rather than to work with Democrats to produce legislation to help people get back to work.

“After opposing every jobs bill introduced in 2010, no one should be shocked that they have ignored the unemployment problem since taking the majority.   Their attempt at repeal of the Affordable Care Act would also kill many of the thousands of jobs recently created in the health care sector.    The House Republican cuts included in the Full-Year Continuing Appropriations Act, 2011, (HR 1) and their proposed budget would result in hundreds of thousands of jobs lost nationwide.  They have attacked community health center jobs,  Pell Grants, Head Start and job investment training for the jobs of the future.  Once again, this is not the leadership American wants or needs.

“The Majority has attacked working people and unions and put the blame of a bad economy on our teachers and public employees.  They have voted to take health care away from over 30 million Americans.  They have voted to cut funding to clean air, water and food protection.  Instead of jobs bills, Republicans have voted to end Medicare and give tax breaks to Big Oil, millionaires, and corporations that ship jobs overseas.    I encourage my Republican colleagues to focus less on political posturing and listen to what the American people have been asking for – to work with their Democratic colleagues to focus on jobs.”