July Job Numbers: Federal Workforce Cuts Harming Workers, Employers and Economy

August 02, 2013

To Get People Back to Work, Lawmakers Must Invest in Our Workforce

 Today, the U.S. Department of Labor released the monthly jobs report for July. The U.S. economy added 162,000 jobs during the past month, 20,000 less than economists predicted. Much of the job growth last month was in retail and restaurants, generally low-wage jobs. However, there more than 3 million jobs that are going unfilled because employers can’t find workers with the skills or credentials these jobs require. Further investment in America’s workforce is needed to get people into these good-paying, family-sustaining jobs that are going unfilled.

The following quote regarding the July jobs report can be attributed to Rachel Gragg, federal policy director for National Skills Coalition:

“Today’s jobs report showing slow job growth maybe a sign of things to come as sequestration cuts hit education and job training programs this past month. Many workforce organizations have been forced to make severe cuts over the past three years due to more than $1 billion in cuts to federal workforce funding, right as our economy and workers were trying to recover from the 2009 recession.

These cuts have a negative impact on our workforce and economy. Past cuts and sequestration have caused workforce organizations to cut staff, reduce or eliminate job training, and close job centers resulting in fewer workers and employers getting the assistance they need. These cuts hurt the unemployed and underemployed needing new skills to find a good-paying job. They also hurt businesses that are unable to grow because they are unable to find the workers with right skills and credentials.

To make matters worse, some members of Congress are actually proposing nearly a billion dollars in additional job training cuts. Continuing down this path will only make it harder for workers and employers to compete in the global economy. Congress must do its job by ending sequestration, eliminating additional cuts to discretionary programs like job training, and finding a balanced approach to deficit reduction.”

Last month, National Skills Coalition released a report, Undoing Success: The Real Cost of Federal Workforce Development Cuts to Jobseekers and Employers, which examines Congress’ un-balanced approach to deficit reduction and highlights the real consequences of these cuts on jobseekers and employers told through survey results and local impact stories.