WASHINGTON (CNN) – The White House reacted to February’s jobs loss report Friday with an announcement by Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis that the administration would be directing $3.5 billion to states to fund education and jobs counseling for unemployed Americans.
“Today we learned that our economy lost another 651,000 jobs in the month of February, bringing the unemployment rate to 8.1 percent. 4.4 million Americans have now lost their jobs since this recession began last year, and there are now nearly 3 million Americans who have been unemployed for more than six months.
This data does not just represent abstract statistics, but the struggles of millions of Americans who do not know how they will pay the bills, or pay the mortgage, or raise their families. They are the central focus of this Administration’s economic policies, and why we are moving swiftly and aggressively to jumpstart job creation and grow our economy once more.
As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, President Obama and I have already moved to increase unemployment insurance benefits and to extend the duration of unemployment insurance. In addition, I am announcing today that the Labor Department is making available more than 3 and a half billion dollars to states for education, training and reemployment services.
We will continue to do whatever is necessary to break the destructive cycle of job loss in this country and put Americans back to work. That includes our plans to re-start lending for consumers and small businesses, help responsible homeowners pay their mortgages and re-finance their homes, and address the long-term economic challenges we face: the high cost of health care, our dependence on oil, and the state of our schools.
From the day this Administration began, we knew that solving the economic crisis we were presented with would not be easy and would not happen overnight. But the President and I believe strongly that this nation has both the resources and the will to meet this challenge and emerge stronger and more prosperous than before.”
President Obama traveled to Columbus, Ohio Friday to speak at the graduation ceremony for 25 police cadets whose jobs, the White House claims, were saved by the economic stimulus plan.
The February jobs report showed 651,000 jobs had been lost. The unemployment rate now stands at 8.1 percent, its highest level since December 1983. The new report now brings the six month total of jobs lost to 3.3 million which is larger than the population of Chicago, the third largest city in America.