Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) told reporters minutes after the debt-ceiling deal passed: “It is now time for Congress to get back to our regularly scheduled program, and that means jobs.”

“With this debt-reduction package completed, the decks are now clear for a single-minded focus on jobs in September,” Schumer said. “We now have the chance to pivot away from budget battles to jobs. … The jobs issue won’t have to play second fiddle to the deficit issue anymore.”

Schumer said that for Democrats, job creation is their “strong suit.”

Unemployment rate:

  • January 2009: 7.8%
  • June 2011: 9.2%
  • Change: +1.4 percentage points

Number of people employed:

(This is people employed rather than jobs. Some people have more than one job.)

  • January 2009: 142,201,000
  • June 2011: 139,334,000
  • Change: -2,867,000 people
(photo credit: Jun)