WASHINGTON, March 7 -- The office of Sen. Angus S. King Jr., I-Maine, issued the following news release:
In light of the February Jobs report released today by the U.S. Department of Labor, which revealed stronger job growth numbers but an increase in the long-term unemployed of 203,000, U.S. Senator Angus King (I-Maine) called on Congress to immediately pass an extension of emergency unemployment benefits:
"While I am pleased to see more significant job growth this month after two consecutive months of weak numbers, this month's report continues to emphasize the need for Congress to shape an economic environment that creates new jobs and protects existing ones," Senator King said.
"Unfortunately, the number of long-term unemployed - those out of work for more than six months - significantly increased in February. Because of this, Congress must support these individuals by immediately finding a way to renew the Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. Unemployment benefits are a vital lifeline for the scores of Americans who have fallen on hard times and are struggling to make ends meet while they search for work. I call on my colleagues to put aside the partisanship and answer the call of Americans who are asking us for help. As this jobs report underscores today, we can't afford not to."
The Department of Labor reports that the economy added 175,000 jobs in February and that the unemployment rate ticked up to 6.7 percent. Senator King has been a proponent of extending the Emergency Unemployment Insurance Program, voting in favor of every proposal that has come under consideration on the floor.
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