|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:||
CONTACT: Jesse Jacobs - 202-224-4524
|Friday, November 1, 2002||
Craig Davis - 202-224-7391
"Today's report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics that the unemployment rate rose to 5.7 percent in October underscores the continuing signs of weakness in the U. S. economy. Private sector jobs fell by 29,000 in October, and over 46,000 private sector jobs have been lost over the past two months. If workers who have grown too discouraged to look for work were included, the unemployment rate would be near 6.8 percent.
"In addition, the leading economic indicators have fallen for four consecutive months. Industrial production has fallen the past two months, and capacity utilization remains at levels below those of the last recession in the early 1990s. Retail sales, auto sales, and durable goods orders all fell sharply in September. Consumer confidence is at a nine-year low. While yesterday's GDP report showed an increase of 3.1 percent, recent forecasts for the fourth quarter have been near zero.
"The U.S. economy is running a significant risk of experiencing a double-dip recession while the Administration pretends that all is well. Regrettably, the Bush Administration has been unwilling to extend unemployment insurance benefits and increase the minimum wage - actions which would both address pressing human needs and provide needed stimulus to the economy. In addition, the Federal Reserve's Open Market Committee should lower interest rates when it meets next week."