Frank's Footnotes Newsletter: Not Enough Jobs in June

June’s Jobless Numbers: The Need for Good, Middle-class Jobs Remains

The Labor Department released June’s unemployment figures earlier today. And the news wasn’t good.

Only 80,000 new jobs were added last month, keeping the unemployment rate at 8.2%. That makes three consecutive months of very weak hiring. Clearly, we still have a long way to go. Far too many people remain out of work, the number of folks who are underemployed remains too high, and the need for more good, middle-class jobs is still pressing.

I’m not satisfied with a recovery that’s inching to prosperity at a snail’s pace. Congress can do more to help job creators expand and grow their payrolls. The Senate needs to join the House in passing a federal budget. We need to get serious about cutting spending and living within our means. And we need to stop the river of red tape that flows out of Washington.

These steps would send a strong signal to job creators. It would show them Washington is ready to address our country’s finances with seriousness and responsibility once more. That would create the stability and predictability job creators want to see before they hire more employees.

I’m staying focused on jobs, through efforts such as my ongoing “Getting Granite Staters Back to Work” jobs initiative. As long as people in New Hampshire are looking for work, I will keep doing everything I can to help them find it.

A Victory for Bipartisan Cooperation: An Important Bill is About to Become Law

With the stroke of a presidential pen, President Obama will finalize an important victory in bipartisan cooperation. He’s scheduled to sign into law H.R. 4348, the Surface Transportation Act of 2012 (click here to read more about it). You may recall I wrote about this bill after Congress approved it last week. In a nutshell, it funds transportation projects for more than two years, clearing the way for the creation of many new, middle class jobs. It also prevents interest rates on new federally subsidized Stafford Loans made to undergraduate students from increasing from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent for one year, through July 1, 2013 (click here to read more).

Plus, it contains two provisions that I authored, and which enjoyed much bipartisan support: one encourages the use of 3-dimensional technology to make project designs quicker and more affordable; the other will fight fraud in the trucking industry.

I was proud to vote for this important legislation. Its passage shows what can be done when Democrats and Republicans in both the House and Senate put aside party labels and work together for the common good. I am ready to carry this spirit of cooperation into the next four weeks of our very busy July schedule.

Frankly Speaking: Keeping the Spirit of ’76 Alive

We celebrated America’s birthday on Wednesday. For one day, our patriotism was on full display for the whole world to see. It’s good that we pause each year and celebrate this special country that we call home. But the lessons from 1776 extend far beyond the Fourth of July, and they’re just as important to us now as they were back then. I reflect on those thoughts in my latest “Frankly Speaking” column. Click here to read it. (By the way, if your local newspaper doesn’t carry “Frankly Speaking,” please contact them and say you would appreciate it if they did.)