• WisPolitics


Friday, October 8, 2010

 9:09 AM 

Feingold says national employment figures show positive trend

U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold said this morning that new employment figures issued today continue to show a positive trend in private sector hiring, but more needs to be done.

The Labor Department reported this morning that the national unemployment rate held at 9.6 percent in September, though nationwide 95,000 jobs were shed due to public sector layoffs and modest public sector hiring.

Feingold said Wisconsin's unemployment rate has remained about two full points below the national level. The figure was 7.8 percent as of last month.

"That's not good enough but it does suggest that Wisconsin's better positioned to get out of this situation than other states," Feingold, D-Middleton, said. "I'm not ready to celebrate these numbers but I think the trend is improving and there are many more positive indicators in the past three or four weeks that things are getting better rather than worse."

Feingold made the comments following a brief address to the Wisconsin Nurses Association's 100th anniversary celebration at Monona Terrace in Madison. Feingold and Republican opponent Ron Johnson, an Oshkosh plastics company owner, will face off tonight in their first debate.

The incumbent has been trailing in public polls, with the most recent, a We The People/Check Point poll released today, showing Johnson leading Feingold 49 percent to 41 percent. The Feingold campaign has said their internal polls show him with a slight lead.

Speaking to the WNA gathering, Feingold touted the "historic improvements" of the health care reform bill, which has been a central issue in the race. He said 32 million Americans who did not have access to health care will under the new law.

"This is what the people of Wisconsin have told me they wanted," Feingold said. "The consumer protections in this law and the increase in access to care will change countless lives for the better in this state and this nation as a whole."

-- By Greg Bump


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