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Weak Job Statistics Elicit Strong Response from Industry

Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM) President Dennis responded to the disappointing May jobs report just released by the federal government.

"Today's job numbers are disappointing but not surprising, given the lack of focus in Washington on passing policies proven to generate real, sustainable job growth,” Slater said. “Until Congress and the Administration agree to make America's farmers and manufacturers a national priority by passing free trade agreements and investing in critical national infrastructure – both proven drivers of economic growth – unemployment will remain unacceptably high and our economy will continue to stagnate.”

Slater re-issued his previous calls for action. “These job numbers don’t lie. It’s way past time for Congress to take the action needed – and proven – to drive job growth and a real and long-lasting economic recovery in the U.S.  If they really want to turn this situation around, they will move immediately to pass all three pending free trade agreements and a fully-funded, long-term surface transportation bill. That’s what will get this country working again."

American Road & Transportation Builders Association spokesman Matt Jeanneret, called out House Speaker John Boehner for Boehner’s contention that new federal highway tax increases would actually eliminate jobs.

“Speaker Boehner wins the ‘Pothole of the Week’ award,” Jeanneret said. “His statement blasting a long-time transportation leader in Congress for suggesting it might be time after 18 years to consider a small increase in the federal gas tax to pay for highway and mass transit improvements – saying it would be a ‘job destroyer’ – is hypocritical.

“The House-passed FY 2012 Ryan budget resolution would cut federal transportation investment next year by 30 percent, including up to a $14 billion cut in aid to the states for highway improvements,” he said. “That would be a guaranteed job killer in the construction industry that’s already struggling with 17 percent unemployment. If the Speaker wants to protect jobs – and maybe even create some new ones – he should lead the charge in passing the 20-month delayed highway and transit bill.”