WASHINGTON – U.S. Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez issued the following statement about the July 2016 Employment Situation report released today:
“With the addition of 255,000 jobs in July, American businesses have created a total of 15 million jobs since February 2010. This month’s report confirms that the Great Recession is indeed in the nation’s rearview mirror – the economy has added jobs for 70 consecutive months, the longest streak on record. The unemployment rate in July held steady at 4.9 percent, down from 10 percent during the depths of the recession. Wages have risen 2.6 percent over the year. All in all, the July report indicates widespread growth and a strong, balanced recovery.
“Just seven years since the auto industry was on life support, auto sales remain near record highs. We have seen 74 consecutive weeks of initial unemployment claims at or below 300,000 – the last time we saw a streak like that was December 1973. Consumer confidence is strong.
“While this sustained progress is encouraging, we have more work to do to ensure that everyone gets a chance to share in this recovery. We must raise the federal minimum wage so that no one who works full-time in America lives in poverty. We must expand access to paid leave so that people don’t have to choose between the job they need and the family they love. We must continue to invest in our most precious natural resource – our human capital – so that everyone gets the skills and training they need to compete.
With fewer than 200 days left in this administration, we remain as committed as ever to ensuring that the prosperity we’ve created in the last eight years is sustained and broadly shared.”