News Releases

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray, Chair of the Senate Subcommittee on Employment, today responded to a Department of Labor report that U.S. employers cut 17,000 non-farm jobs in January – the first time in nearly four-and-a-half years that payrolls shrank – with continuing losses in the construction and manufacturing sectors.

"Unfortunately, this news doesn't come as a surprise to those of us who've continually sounded the alarm about our faltering labor market.  I've warned the Administration for years that our workforce needs more investment to remain competitive, not funding cuts.  

"But the Bush Administration has proposed cut after cut to job training funds - reducing funding by nearly two billion dollars over the last eight years. That means this Administration has left 750,000 workers without the training they desperately need to survive in this faltering economy. And we're expecting more of the same in his budget recommendations Monday.  That's simply the wrong priority for working families in need of some help from their federal government. 

"It's time for the Bush Administration to end its failed policies and start investing in working families and our nation's future.  Our economy needs more than just an immediate stimulus; it needs a real plan for job growth and skills training. It's time for a change."

Mass layoffs hit a record high in 2007 with more than 1.5 million workers losing their jobs in some 15,493 layoffs—that's the highest number since Hurricane Katrina ravaged the Gulf Coast in 2005.  Unemployment claims are also on the rise.  According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, initial unemployment claims increased by some 69,000 over the previous week.