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Begich Responds to New Job Numbers

U.S. Sen. Mark Begich released the following statement today after the U.S. Department of Labor announced the economy added 200,000 jobs in December bringing unemployment to the lowest level in nearly three years.

“The new job creation numbers are another sign that we continue to take steps toward a full economic recovery. This is because previously discouraged job seekers have seen their prospects brighten, and are back on the hunt. We need to continue to take steps to make it possible for these folks to find good jobs.

“We also learned just yesterday that the number of people getting unemployment benefits continues to drop as 2011 ended with a three-month pattern of declines which should mean more hiring in the New Year.

“As Congress gets back to work, we need to stay focused on working together on policies that will put more Americans back to work and protect our middle class families and small businesses. As the economy recovers, we’re a long way from time for celebration because far too many Alaska families are still struggling to pay their fuel bills and send their kids to school.

“And I will continue to focus on the need for an energy plan for this country that takes advantage of the enormous oil and gas resources in Alaska. One of the easiest ways to keep our economy moving and create thousands of jobs is through oil and gas development within American borders—specifically in the 49th state.”

It is estimated 54,000 jobs could be created over the next 50 years from oil and gas development in Alaska’s Chukchi and Beaufort Seas.

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