Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), Chairman of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), released the following statement on the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ December 2011 jobs report showing that the unemployment rate decreased to 8.5 percent and 200,000 total nonfarm jobs were added:
“With this month’s employment report, we now have 22 consecutive months of private-sector job gains. In 2011, the economy added 1.9 million private-sector jobs. Congress must do everything possible to ensure that this upward trend in growth continues.
“This is why I strongly encourage my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to extend the employee payroll tax cut for a full year. The recent extension of the payroll tax cut gives us until the beginning of March to reach an agreement that will benefit working families and provide more take-home pay for 160 million Americans by ensuring a full year extension of the payroll tax cut.
“As one of four Democratic Senators appointed to the bicameral, bipartisan conference committee tasked with reaching an agreement on payroll tax cut legislation, I look forward to working with all of my colleagues on a bill that is in the best interest of Pennsylvanians and the American people.
“A one-year payroll tax cut would help the average American family save about $1,000 this year. Families will use their savings to buy groceries, gas and other goods – further strengthening the economy. Washington must enact a swift passage of this extension so we can further bolster our economic progress.”