Rep. Jesse Jackson Seeks Resumes of Jobless Americans to 'Dramatize' Crisis

Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. wants unemployed Americans to send him their resumes. But the Illinois Democrat and son of the legendary civil rights leader isn't hiring or even offering to forward the resumes to those who are hiring. He just wants to "put a face on the job crisis we confront."

"By collecting these resumes, I hope to dramatize the shameful condition of unemployment and compel action to do something about it," he said Friday on the House floor. "I hope to remind my colleagues every day that we work for those Americans who have been left behind, but who want to work."

Jackson said he will submit the resumes into the congressional record. He set up an email address,, to collect the resumes. Jobless Americans can also mail them to his congressional office at 2419 Rayburn House Office Building.

"Sending a resume to me will not put you first in line for any job," he said. "But it will put you front and center to remind your government that so many Americans are in need, and that we must create jobs."

Jackson issued his call on the same day that a new government report showed that the jobless rate fell to 9.4 percent last month, the lowest level in 19 months. But that was largely because more people gave up on their job searches and weren't included in the jobless rate.

The economy added 103,000 jobs in December, a figure that fell short of the nearly 200,000 jobs that most analysts were expecting. The economy needs to generate about 125,000 jobs a month just to absorb newcomers into the workforce. The number of Americans without jobs is just under 14.5 million.

Andrew Wilson, a spokesman for Jackson, told that Jackson had already received "a number of e-mails."

He said that Jackson decided to launch his effort now because "joblessness remains a huge issue so we feel like it's time to increase our activity on it."

There is no timeline for how long Jackson will keep collecting the resumes, but there will be updates on an ongoing basis, Wilson said.

He added that the the effort isn't a comment on any specific policy or proposal to create jobs.

"What we're talking about is putting a human face on a very human problem," he said.