Statement by AFL-CIO President John Sweeney on the June 2008 Jobs Report

July 3, 2008—The only question these days is not if the economy will lose jobs, but how many this time.  We’ve lost 438,000 jobs so far this year including 62,000 in June alone.  Falling house prices, rising mortgage rates, gas and food prices are squeezing workers as never before.

The tax rebate checks in the mail or in our pockets are a temporary fix to a long simmering problem. It’s up to Congress and President Bush to act immediately to help assuage the crushing weight of an economy that was built like a house of cards. We need a second economic stimulus bill that includes extended unemployment benefits, expanded food stamps program, aid to states and cities, and infrastructure spending.

Congress must also act with urgency on a housing bill to keep millions of Americans from losing their homes to help put a floor underneath still deteriorating housing prices.  Until housing prices stop falling, it will be very difficult to resolve the credit crisis or recovery from the recession.

While President Bush continues to define “do-nothing” in this economic crisis, Sen. John McCain is clearly following in his footsteps. Today, as thousands more Americans get news of the job loss, McCain is still out of the country, advocating for bad trade deals – – a surefire way to ensure next month’s jobs report will be even worse.