Newly installed U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, D-NC, issues her first press release, reacting to this morning’s dreadful economic news. An effective stimulus package, Hagan says, should emphasize jobs-producing projects, not just checks a la last year’s Bush-league tax rebates. Her statement follows Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin’s complaint yesterday, following a private meeting with Obama economic advisor Larry Summers, that what’s on tap sounds a little too much like “trickle-down” tax cuts to him.

Hagan’s statement is below:

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Kay Hagan (D-NC) released the following statement on Friday after the Labor Department announced that 524,000 jobs were lost in the month of December, bringing unemployment to a 15-year high of 7.2 percent.

‘Today’s grim news regarding December’s job loss and unemployment is deeply troubling, and caps off a year of disturbing economic news for working families across the country. In North Carolina, we know all too well the effects of these staggering layoffs. Just yesterday, Freightliner announced that they will cut 2,137 jobs in the state in the coming months, devastating both the workers who will lose their jobs and the state and local governments which will experience a loss in revenue.”

‘As Congress and the incoming Administration continue working to design a stimulus package that will provide real relief for American families, it is imperative that we not just send people checks. We also have to invest in projects that will send them back to work. Our workforce is the foundation of our economy and the backbone of our communities. It is the skill and resolve of our workers that will ultimately drive our economic recovery.”

‘I came to Washington to work for real solutions for North Carolina’s families, and right now North Carolinians are being pushed to the breaking point. I encourage the incoming Administration and my colleagues in Congress to act swiftly and decisively by investing in projects that will strengthen our country and bolster our economy while providing our workers with the dignity of a paycheck that provides for their families.”