Washington, D.C.—Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), today released the following statement after the Department of Labor (DOL) reported that 1.5 million workers filed regular first-time unemployment claims (not seasonally adjusted) for the week ending June 20 and another 728,000 filed claims through Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) program for gig workers and others. In total, 2.2 million people filed new unemployment claims.

This is the 14th consecutive week in which more than one million Americans filed a new unemployment insurance claim. The DOL also reported that 30.6 million American workers continued to draw unemployment insurance benefits as of June 6th.

“This is the fourteenth week in a row that the number of people filing new unemployment claims has exceeded the worst week of the Great Recession,” said Beyer. “The President is responding to that crisis with self-congratulation and a total lack of empathy for the millions who remain out of work. Senate Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell, are not doing a single thing to help the economy as the national emergency gets worse.”

“As Fed Chair Jay Powell has said, the economy won’t fully recover until Americans have confidence that the coronavirus is contained. But we’re moving in the opposite direction. New cases reached an all-time high yesterday. At least seven states hit records for COVID-19 hospitalizations this week. The President is not simply failing to lead, but he is actively making matters worse by holding potentially super-spreading events in Tulsa and Phoenix. The price of his callousness and ineptitude will be extremely high.”

About Congressman Beyer

Congressman Beyer is currently serving his third term in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Northern Virginia suburbs of the nation’s capital. In addition to his role as Vice Chair of the JEC, Beyer serves on the House Committee on Ways and Means and the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. Previously, Beyer served as the Lieutenant Governor of Virginia and Ambassador to Switzerland and built a successful family business over the course of four decades.