Dr. Boozman's Check-up

The new job numbers were released today and they show that the final four weeks of 2013 comprised the weakest month of hiring in three years.

Only 74,000 jobs were added in December after averaging 214,000 in the previous four months.

This counters recent claims that the economy is on the rise. The Administration has been touting the drop in the unemployment rate, but as the Associated Press (AP) notes, that is largely because many jobless Americans have stopped looking for work.

From the AP:

The Labor Department said Friday that the unemployment rate fell from 7 percent in November to 6.7 percent, its lowest level since October 2008. But the drop occurred mostly because many Americans stopped looking for jobs. Once people without jobs stop looking for one, the government no longer counts them as unemployed.

As my colleague, and Ranking Member of the Senate Budget Committee, Jeff Sessions (R-AL) has noted, for every one job created, five people leave the workforce.

It is an unsustainable pace. It highlights the failure of the economic policies the Senate Majority and the Obama Administration have pursued.

When will the Senate Majority turn its attention to correcting the economic turmoil the Obama Administration has created?

Senate Republicans have tried to add job-creating provisions to legislation the Senate Majority has offered, including its recent effort to extend unemployment insurance to out-of-work Americans. But every time, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has prevented our efforts from receiving consideration from the Senate. The Majority Leader is so intent on ensuring that his caucus does not have to take tough votes that since last summer, all but four Republican amendments have been denied a roll call vote.  

After several harsh news articles, perhaps Majority Leader Reid will have a change of heart. It remains to be seen if he is truly willing to work with us, but it is far beyond time. Instead of working against us, the Senate Majority needs to work with us to get the economy running again. Americans cannot afford more of the same.