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May 9, 2009   
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OPA News Release: [04/03/2009]
Contact Name: Jennifer Kaplan
Phone Number: (202) 693-5052 or x4676
Release Number: 09-0364-NAT

Statement of U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda L. Solis on March 2009 employment numbers

WASHINGTON — U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis issued the following statement on the March 2009 Employment Situation report released today:

"Our economy lost another 663,000 jobs in March, bringing the total number of Americans that have lost their jobs to 5.1 million since this recession began last year. The overall unemployment rate has increased to 8.5 percent.

"The Americans who have lost their jobs worry about paying the mortgage, keeping their health insurance and paying tuition. Families across our country are stressed and hurting, and they are at the center of the administration's efforts to provide real relief and opportunity for the future.

"By enacting the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, we have taken an important step to save and create jobs while making important investments for future economic growth. The administration also has taken important steps to help families struggling to make their mortgage payments, and to get credit flowing for small businesses and families.

"Today's numbers show that we have more work to do.

"The Labor Department continues to actively support workers during this difficult time. We have provided billions of dollars to increase the level of unemployment benefits and extend their duration. In addition, we have provided states with $7 billion in incentives to expand the reach of unemployment insurance. We also have distributed $4 billion to increase the opportunities for workers to receive training.

"The magnitude of our economy's problems has touched all of us. But the president and I firmly believe that this nation has the fortitude, spirit and resources to pull ourselves out of this crisis and allow our country to emerge prosperous and even stronger than before."

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