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Local Congressmen React To The August Jobs Report

The nation's unemployment rate for August was 8.1%, down from 8.3% in July. The U.S. Department of Labor reports that employers added 96,000 jobs last month, but that's down from an average of 139,000 per month since the beginning of the year.  According to the Labor Department, the jobless rate declined in part because many people gave up looking for jobs, reducing the size of the labor force.

Representative Tim Murphy (R-PA-18)  called the jobs report "dismal" and "nothing short of a national disgrace."

Representative Mark Critz (D-PA-12) said the jobless numbers are another reason for Congress to pass his Currency Reform for Fair Trade Act "which ends currency manipulation by countries like China and helps to create over 2.25 million American jobs," Critz said.  "We must continue to rebuild our manufacturing sector by working to increase U.S. exports through fair trade deals and policies that help American businesses ‘Make it in America.’ "

Critz added the nation must take advantage of its natural resources "and create millions of new energy jobs through the continued development of natural gas, coal, nuclear, and renewable energy resources.”

Murphy said fostering the creation of energy-related jobs could help the nearly two million college graduates who are unemployed.

“In Southwestern Pennsylvania, we know energy equals jobs, but the Administration’s war on natural gas and clean coal has hindered both," Murphy said.  "That’s why I’ve introduced the bipartisan Infrastructure Jobs and Energy Independence Act, a bill to unleash our nation’s energy sector and put our students back to work."

Murphy said in addition to creating thousands of Pennsylvania jobs, his legislation "would lower energy prices, generate trillions in new federal revenues, and fund critical construction projects so we can repair our state’s aging bridges and roadways."

August's 8.1% rate marked the 43rd consecutive month the unemployment level has been at or above 8%.