The economy continues to be a pivotal issue on the campaign trail, as new job numbers were released for June on Friday. Candidates are targeting job creation and employment as key election year issues. YNN’s Nick Reisman takes a closer look.
UNITED STATES -- The national economy remains stuck in neutral, with a lower-than-expected 82,000 jobs added in the last month, according to the Department of Labor. The sluggish growth and stubborn unemployment rate of more than eight percent hampers President Obama's re-elections effort.
“We need to do better, absolutely. But over the course of the last few years, we lost eight million jobs now we've added 4.4 million private-sector jobs. Can we do better? Absolutely,” said Hilda Solis, U.S. Department of Labor Secretary.
But it's not just Obama and Republican Mitt Romney on the ballot this November. Incumbents across the country and here in New York are facing the heat over the economic stagnation. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand echoed much of what the Labor Secretary said while promoting women-owned small businesses in Troy.
“You know, we still have a long way to go and that's just the reality. When I travel around New York, no matter who I talk to, who I meet with, the number one issue on their mind is the economy and how we're going to create jobs and how can we help businesses grow,” said Senator Gillibrand.
Gillibrand is facing off against Republican Wendy Long, a judicial activist from Manhattan. Though Long has low-name identification and little money, the sour jobs report gave her an opening to attack Gillibrand head on. In a statement Long said, “Sky-high taxes, ballooning debt, overspending, overregulation, no budget, no jobs bill, no jobs, and as a result no confidence. As U.S. Senator, I will vote to repeal the Obamacare tax, to let businesses create well-paying jobs, and get our economy back on track so that New Yorkers can feed their families, fill their gas tanks, and pursue their dreams for themselves and their children.”
Not mentioning Long by name, Gillibrand merely said there are clear differences she has with her Republican opponent.
“All elections are about choices and people are measured on what they are doing and what they believe in and what they are fighting for," Gillibrand said. "And I'm going to run on my record about what I've accomplish, what I hope to accomplish. Our viewpoints, our values, are very different and my vision for growth is very different.”