The Department of Labor today reported that 39,000 jobs were added by U.S. employers last month.  And while it’s a good indication of growth, the Washington Post is reporting that the pace of expansion is much slower than many analysts expected.  The Department also released new unemployment figures for November – our country is at 9.8 percent unemployment, up from 9.6 percent in October.

Families across the country are holding their own, but they still can’t afford, and certainly don’t want, an increase in costs at common stops like the gas pump and grocery store.  And these statistics show us that, while we have come a long way to pull ourselves out of a recession and into recovery, we still have a long way to go.

It’s times like these that we need to embrace U.S. businesses and seek policies that promote and stimulate job growth in the private sector.  With a direct economic impact of $178.5 billion, our industry has a significant effect on our nation’s financial system.  We provide more than 208,000 good-paying jobs across our country - and help to support hundreds of thousands more that depend, in part, on beverage sales for their livelihood.  We provide significant tax revenues at both the state and federal levels, and generously contribute to charitable causes in communities across the nation.