June 23, 2011
- Jobless Claims Continue to Rise: The Labor Department reported today that initial claims for unemployment benefits increased by 9,000 to 429,000. It is the second increase in three weeks and the 11th straight week that applications have been above 400,000.
- Misery Index at 28-Year High: The unofficial Misery Index that totals the unemployment and inflation rates, is at a 28-year high, reflective of how weak the economic recovery has been.
- Federal Reserve Downgrades Economic Growth Projections: Following a string of disappointing economic indicators, the Federal Reserve Board yesterday downgraded its projections for near-term GDP growth, lowering its average growth estimate for 2012 by 10 percent below its prediction from just two months ago. In addition, the Board now says average unemployment and inflation will be significantly higher next year than they projected in April.
- Small Business Optimism Reaches 8-Month Low: According to the National Federation of Independent Business’ (NFIB) June 2011 Small Business Economic Trends report, optimism among small business owners that the economic outlook will improve in the short term fell to its lowest level since September 2010 and has declined for three straight months.
- Entrepreneurship is at a 17-Year Low: According to Bureau of Labor Statistic’s data, the number of new business start-ups has fallen to the lowest level since the data was first recorded in 1994. Since 2007, there has been a 23% drop in new business creation.
- Double-Dip in Housing Prices: According to the Standard and Poor’s/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, housing prices have fallen every month since June 2010 and have dipped below the previous recession low reported in April 2009. According to S&P, home prices have fallen by 33 percent since their peak in July 2006 and are at their lowest level since March 2003.
- Only 5 Percent of Small Firms Believe They Can Expand Now: According to the NFIB, only 5% of surveyed small business owners view the current period as a good time to expand; of those who view it as a bad time to expand, 71% of those blame the weak economy, and 14% cite political uncertainty.
- Unemployed Are Out of Work for Longer Than Any Time in History: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average job seeker has been unemployed for 39.7 weeks, the longest average time that Americans have been unemployed since the statistic was first recorded in 1948.
- IMF Says the U.S. is “Playing with Fire”: Last week the International Monetary Fund (IMF) cut its forecast for U.S. economic growth and warned Washington and debt-ridden European countries that they are ‘playing with fire’ unless they take immediate steps to reduce their budget deficits.
The House Republican Plan for Job Creation and Growth
Rather than spending money we don’t have for costly, short-term economic gimmicks or passing new job-killing tax increases at a time when we face the worst unemployment since the Great Depression, House Republicans have a plan to restore confidence and certainty to the economy and create jobs.
- Empower small business owners by reducing crushing regulatory burdens and red tapes.
- Reform, simplify the tax code, lowering rates in a deficit neutral manner and ensuring that job creators will not face new, debilitating tax hikes.
- Promote lower energy prices through increased domestic production.
- Increase competitiveness for American by passing pending trade agreements.
- Encourage entrepreneurship and growth by streamlining our broken
- Bring real certainty to job creators by ending Washington’s runaway spending and debt and putting on the path to balance the budget.
House Republicans are committed to taking every possible step to spur job creation and get our economy back on track so that Americans can do what they do best: create, innovate and lead.
For additional information, contact:
The House Republican Conference Policy Office