On Sep 4, secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis issued the August 2009 Employment Situation report, on which, she stated that during past August, the economy lost 216,000 jobs, fewer than what most experts expected. Now the overall unemployment rate is 9.7 percent.
Since this administration took office, the economy had been losing average 700,000 jobs every month, so the job loss of last month is an improvement, “but is still by no means acceptable”, said Hilda L. Solis, "These numbers are a sobering reminder that our economic conditions continue to cause pain for many Americans and that families are having a difficult time simply covering their daily necessities, much less planning for the future.”
One of the Department of Labor’s principal goals is to help those people that have lost their jobs until there is a full recovery that includes sustained job growth. They have taken some measures to protect workers, such as extending the number of weeks available for unemployment insurance, increasing the monthly benefit amount by an extra $25 a week, strengthening social safety net by subsidizing 65 percent of COBRA premiums and providing new training opportunities for workers, so that the unemployed can more easily access health insurance.
At the same time, the Recovery Act has also provided much needed aid to states and has spurred work on shovel-ready projects. Sep 3 marked the 200-day milestone of the Recovery Act, and Vice President Biden announced that all 10 agencies met or exceeded their commitments in our roadmap to recovery.
Hilda L. Solis also mentioned that “We still have a long way to go until we can say that the economy is back on track and everyone has access to a good job, but I am confident that we will reach that goal. And I will make sure that the Department of Labor is standing by, supporting workers every step of the way."