State employment data released today by the Bureau of Labor Statistics mirrors national patterns of the past two months. American workers continue to pay a staggering price for the lack of concerted action to create jobs for the millions who are unemployed. In June, 19 states and the District of Columbia continued to have unemployment rates of 9.0% or higher, and seven states and DC continued to have rates of 10.0% or more. Ten states and DC have lost jobs since June 2010, even though the economy has technically been experiencing a recovery.
These numbers highlight the necessity of shifting national policy discussions to the immediate economic needs of the American people. State and federal lawmakers need to work together to put America back to work. The lack of jobs remains the real crisis facing the nation—other matters, such as the political wrangling over the debt ceiling, are distractions.