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Job Numbers Stagnant for the Month of August

September 3, 2011
By JOSELYN KING Political Writer , The Intelligencer / Wheeling News-Register

The nationwide failure to create jobs in August kept the unemployment rate at 9.1 percent, and jobless rates in many local counties continue to exceed that figure.

According to the figures released Friday by the U.S. Department of Labor, zero new jobs were created during the month.

The most recent employment figures for states, meanwhile, show West Virginia's unemployment rate for July below the national average at 7.4 percent and Ohio's at 9 percent.

Locally in West Virginia, Ohio County's unemployment rate for July was 7.7 percent; Marshall County, 9 percent; Tyler County, 9.8 percent; Brooke County, 10.6 percent; Wetzel, County 10.9 percent; and Hancock County, 11 percent.

In eastern Ohio, Belmont County has the lowest unemployment rate at 7.5 percent, followed by Jefferson County at 10.3 percent; Harrison County at 10.6 percent; and Monroe County at 11.5 percent.

"It is important to remember that today's jobs numbers from the Department of Labor are not simply statistics, they are 14 million families struggling to make ends meet - 14 million dreams postponed," said Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio. "With this level of stubborn joblessness, temporary Washington sweeteners won't work.

The administration has tried them and they've failed. Businesses think long term. Washington should, too, with a permanent job creation agenda to unleash the untapped potential of the American economy.

"More speeches won't solve this problem, nor will more political posturing," he continued. "Common-sense, bipartisan ideas, like encouraging energy development here at home, increasing exports by ratifying the pending trade agreements, eliminating overly onerous and anti-growth regulations and creating more competitive tax code should be agreed upon immediately to get the nation back on the right path."

"We have seen our families, friends and neighbors struggle to find jobs while our president and the Senate block any and all attempts by House Republicans to get Americans back to work," said Rep. David B. McKinley, R-W.Va. "We have offered numerous pieces of legislation that will cut tax and regulatory burdens and get government out of the way so job creators can do what they do best: create jobs.

"The president may not have created the mess we're in single-handedly, but he's made it much worse," McKinley added. "When he addresses Congress next week, I encourage him to offer real solutions to our economic woes and not more political rhetoric. Unemployment has stayed over 8 percent for a record 31 months. This is unacceptable, and it's time for action from the president and the Senate."

President Barack Obama is scheduled to address the issue of job creation when he unveils his agenda Thursday to a joint session of Congress.

Rep. Shelley Moore Capito noted that federal unemployment rates have exceeded 8 percent "for an alarming 31 consecutive months."

"Millions of Americans want jobs but can't find them, and thousands more have stopped looking for work altogether," she said. "Record debt and deficits, regulatory red tape and the threat of higher taxes have kept investors on the sidelines and small businesses from hiring.

"House Republicans have introduced and passed multiple bills to help entrepreneurs by lifting burdensome regulations and crushing debt which continue to slow our economy down. Unfortunately, the Senate and the administration continue to believe we can borrow, spend, tax and regulate our way to recovery. It's time we work together to chart a different course. The American people deserve a new path forward."

Calls seeking comment on Friday - the day prior to the Labor Day weekend - were not immediately returned by the offices of Sens. Jay Rockefeller and Joe Manchin, both D-W.Va.; Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; and Reps. Bob Gibbs and Bill Johnson, both R-Ohio.

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