The first Friday of every month, the Department of Labor releases a jobs report that provides a snapshot of the employment picture from the previous month. Today, we received some good news. The economy added 257,000 jobs in January, and the November and December monthly numbers were revised upward to 423,000 jobs and 329,000 jobs respectively. That’s now 59 straight months of job growth for a total of 11.8 million new private sector jobs during that span of time.
These numbers are all the more encouraging when you consider that when President Obama took office our economy was shedding jobs at an alarming rate — the economy lost almost 800,000 jobs in January 2009 alone. According to many economists, we were headed for a second Great Depression. Today’s jobs report shows that the economic rescue efforts from Congress and the Obama administration continue to help our economy recover from the aftermath of the financial crisis.
The news in Delaware is encouraging, too. Our state’s unemployment rate dropped to 5.4 percent in December, the lowest since September 2008 and below the national average.
However, this doesn’t mean our economy has fully healed from the Great Recession. Too many people in the First State and around the country are still looking for work. I strongly believe that Congress and the administration must work together to encourage a nurturing environment for job creation and preservation. We can rebuild our manufacturing sector by strengthening our trade agreements and restructuring our complicated tax code. We can raise student achievement and equip the next generation of students with the skills to succeed in an increasingly competitive global economy. And Congress can do its part to fix our nation's crumbling infrastructure by enacting a long-term plan that will create thousands of jobs in the short-term and help our economy run more efficiently in the long-run.
No issue matters more than meaningful job creation. It’s still my top priority and I look forward to making more progress for our state and our country in the year to come.