- (Photo: Reuters/Paul Faith/Pool)
Democrats as well as Republicans praised a slightly better-than-expected employment report that showed the U.S. economy added 195,000 jobs in June, but both parties also agreed more work needed to be done, with Republicans pointing to Obamacare as "a drain on employment."
After the report by the Bureau of Labor Statistics showing on Friday that the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 7.6 percent despite federal spending cuts and tax increases, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, R-Va., praised the jobs report. "Today's report is an encouraging sign for the working men and women who found a job last month, and those who are still looking," he said in a statement.
However, Cantor added, that "earlier this week the White House reminded us once again that its policies have held back the job growth that we should expect from an economic recovery." Obamacare, he pointed out, "has been predicted to be a drain on employment since before its passage and that outcome was confirmed by the Obama Administration's delay of the employer mandate."
Cantor went on to say that delaying "the inevitable for one year" will not help. "We must have a permanent delay of Obamacare before we can realize our full job-creating potential."
Critics say Obamacare discourages employers to offer full-time jobs to workers. The labor department's jobs report also showed the number of unemployed, part-time employed and underemployed rose from 13.8 to 14.3 percent.
House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, also said the report offers "some good news," but "economic growth is still tepid, the unemployment rate is far too high, and the president continues to promote policies that undermine robust job creation."
Alan B. Krueger, chairman of President Obama's Council of Economic Advisers, agreed that "more work remains to be done," but added that the "employment report provides further confirmation that the U.S. economy is continuing to recover from the worst downturn since the Great Depression."
Krueger highlighted that the economy has added private sector jobs for 40 consecutive months, for a total of 7.2 million jobs over that period. "In spite of monthly volatility, over the past three years the pace of job growth has increased each year," he said. "It is critical that we remain focused on pursuing policies to speed job creation and expand the middle class, as we continue to dig our way out of the deep hole that was caused by the severe recession that began in December 2007."
Additionally, figures for April and May were revised up. April's increase was revised to 199,000 from 149,000, and May to 195,000 from 175,000.
However, Republican National Committee (RNC) Chairman Reince Priebus said, "Today's jobs report shows June brought good news for a few but more disappointment for the millions who need a job. This snail's pace of job creation isn't good enough for our families and communities."
The country needs to do better, Priebus said. "But that requires President Obama to get his priorities in order. Does he care about real job creation or not? The implementation of Obamacare isn't going to provide relief. His job-killing carbon regulations won't create jobs."