Washington, DC – Oregon’s Senator Jeff Merkley released a statement following the Labor Department’s announcement that almost 5 million workers were receiving unemployment checks, a record high:
“The new unemployment numbers released today are a reminder of the already obvious economic challenge facing the nation. Five million Americans are collecting unemployment benefits and that number continues to grow each week.
“Earlier this week, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law. This commitment to creating American jobs and investing in the long-term success of our economy is a necessary start to getting us back on the right track. The ARRA also provides additional help for those who are unable to find work during these difficult times, including increased unemployment benefits and expanded nutrition assistance programs. This safety net is absolutely critical for our families and communities.
“We can’t put 5 million people back to work overnight – it will take time. But with the passage of ARRA and President Obama’s new plan for providing real assistance to homeowners, we’re moving in the right direction.”