March 6th, 2009
10:50 AM ET
14 years ago

White House: States to get $3.5 bln for job training, transition

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.

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soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Jon in CA

    P from IE (Inland Empire?) says,

    "If the money doesn't come soon we will hit 11% un-employment and California will tank."

    NEWSFLASH – California has ALREADY tanked! Thanks to the decades of Democrat over-spending and unions strong-arming budget increases... we're $42 BILLION in debt!!

    And we can't SPEND our way out of this. Imagine this new concept – SPENDING REDUCTIONS – which may include teachers and other STATE employees.

    Sorry – those are the facts. Deal with a little reality.

    March 6, 2009 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  2. Don't look at me I didn't vote for Socialism

    Government artificially grows, and there is this ever growing safety net for the unemployed. Let's make the policies change so that we don't need this ever growing group of unemployed. It's call business incentives to stay in business like tax cuts and lowering the cost of doing business.

    Oh I keep forgeting Barack wants us all dependent upon the governement.

    March 6, 2009 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  3. ray ray


    Let me give you just a COUPLE of solutions since you want conservatives to MAN UP:

    1) No Earmarks
    2) No $1 Billion to Palestine
    3) No Foreign Aid $$ to Israel, Africa, or anyone else
    4) No Universal Healthcare
    5) DRILL off US Shores and Alaska (get energy independent!)
    6) Give tax-incentives for Americans to go green (cars, home improvement, etc)
    7) No more money to bankrupt banks, car companies, or homeowners who didn't put at least 10% down on their home purchase.

    Obama wants to "fix" the world and use this economic crisis to push GOVERNMENT programs. NO THANKYOU!

    March 6, 2009 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  4. Don't look at me I didn't vote for Socialism

    I agree PROUD TEXAN. Its time to say no to stupidity coming out of Washington that is gling to bankrupt us us all. Wall street has been down only 20% since the Messiah took over the steering wheel. Just wait 4 years we will kick him to the curb.

    March 6, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  5. shoegazer

    It's still got a long way to go before things start looking up.Just thought I'd had that pleasant little offering to start the weekend.

    March 6, 2009 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  6. lynn

    I live in Texas too and people are losing their jobs here just like others around the country. If Governer Perry refuses to take the money so that it will help create jobs for people who desperately need them then he is no more than a selfish out of touch SOB who doesn't care what the people want or need. Maybe you and Governer Perry need to be a half a step (not a whole step) from the soup line so that you can understand and have some sympathy for the plight of others. These are people who want to work and can't find jobs. What do you expect them to do?

    March 6, 2009 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  7. In Houston, TX

    OKAY, please stop with the Texas bashing, I know we gave you such wonders as W Bush and yeah Bush Sr. lives here and haliburton but some of us here are really intellegent. Some of us don't support Bush. Some of us are trying to turn this big state blue. And those same people LOVE TEXAS.

    March 6, 2009 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  8. The lonely Libertarian of Liverpool

    Come on CNN this was reported on your own network last night.( Lou Dobbs) Stop censoring me....

    March 6, 2009 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  9. southerncousin

    disgusted@1. Stop talking down the economy, the campaign is over, you won, with illegal help from ACORN, the unions and the MSM. 2. Stop trying to overload programs that are supposed to help with pork barrel projects (need examples?) and failed socialist programs (e.g. the money is going to teachers unions, not education). Be honest, again the campaign is over, try clarity.

    March 6, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  10. Jim

    1) Push e-verify thru. Remove the illegal's from the work force and employ bonafide American Citizens.
    2) Bring our troops home and have them patrol the Southern Borders and stop the flood of illegals that come thru daily.
    3) Begin the process of removing the illegals from this country.

    This would help in several ways. First of all, American's would be working, and I am including those welfare riders. Put them to work in a productive environment instead of making babies so their checks will go up.

    It would reduce the burden in each state of having to care for the illegals, which by they way, is a hard burden on all states (See California.).

    It would reduce the welfare state we are pushing ourselves into and eliminate the need for Government intervention.

    March 6, 2009 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  11. Simmy

    ray ray,

    Go back inside; recess is over......Silly talk.
    Republicans have knowingly or unknowingly allowed Rove and Limbaugh to spin to them some of the tactics used by Hitler (Repeat same phrases over and over, day after day; promise a better life, order every person to be on same page, any deviations will be punished, etc.). Until they clean up their acts, they have no right to throw labels around.

    Give the President at least a year. You gave Bush 8. I rest my case.

    March 6, 2009 02:39 pm at 2:39 pm |
  12. Cheney

    @southerncousin.You couldnt get a job even if you came out from your mom and dads cellar.Maybe a paper route.

    March 6, 2009 02:41 pm at 2:41 pm |
  13. All wet

    It's raining money wheeee...

    March 6, 2009 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  14. sick n tired of CNN moderators

    @ Jackie in Dallas; What you say is very true and I agree 100%.

    March 6, 2009 03:07 pm at 3:07 pm |
  15. Tax Cuts can increase that certain part of tha male body!

    They don't have any other suggestions, unless Fear creates jobs, then our economy would have prospered the last 8 years.

    March 6, 2009 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  16. Liz in Texas

    Finally, a President that believes in investing in the people of America. That the only way to change for the better and for the long term is bottom up and not trickle down.

    March 6, 2009 03:16 pm at 3:16 pm |
  17. Mike

    Hey California, they are going to lay off teachers but will not get of the illegals but continue to support them. With the crime, medical and free schooling for them, no wonder California is sinking. Your priorities are really fouled up. You get what you deserve.

    March 6, 2009 03:21 pm at 3:21 pm |
  18. The Last Patriot

    Why do these brilliant solutions always involve spending billions of tax payer dollars? I swear you can take any issue and the proposed solution will always involve funneling money to some bureaucracy. I guess it is like Rahm Emmanuel said, "Never let a serious crisis go to waste".

    I wonder what would create more jobs:
    1) Billions to education and counseling (and educators and counselors)
    2) Billions in tax cuts to companies that create jobs

    March 6, 2009 03:30 pm at 3:30 pm |
  19. Tim

    Ray, RAy RAy.......the same old argument from the GOP. Still no new ideas that will work.

    (1) No Earmarks-
    Agreed bothe DEm and Republican because they do it equally
    Thats 7 Billion

    2) No $1 Billion to Palestine
    Ok, so thats 1 Billion less.

    3) No Foreign Aid $$ to Israel, Africa, or anyone else
    Africa (*North Eastern) is a breeding ground for ethnic cleansing and terrorists, So you are saying we should let whats happening in places like Darfur, but it was okay to fund $10 Billlion a month in Iraq for the same reasons? Wow.

    4) No Universal Healthcare
    So you are saying that its okay that our current Health CAre contuniues to erode business profits, force people to lose their homes and go to the ER, rasing all of our premiums and the fact that it is the biggest drag on the economy. Pretty dumb to oppose it.

    5) DRILL off US Shores and Alaska (get energy independent!)
    Ok, we can do that. But we do not have enough off of our shores to significantly impact our demand requirements in this country. It will not get us any less dependant on foreign oil. We will only be charged more by OPEC to make up for any reduction in demand. Fossil fuels are a ZERO SUM GAME

    6) Give tax-incentives for Americans to go green (cars, home improvement, etc)
    That has always been a part of Obama's plan, so I agree with that.

    7) No more money to bankrupt banks, car companies, or homeowners who didn't put at least 10% down on their home purchase
    Ok, so that would take the unemployment rate to about 12% nationwide. Now all thgoise peoplemwill need long term Unemployment benefits and medical care (one of your so-called 'socialist' programs)

    March 6, 2009 04:01 pm at 4:01 pm |
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