Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee (JEC), released the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that nonfarm payroll employment increased by 638,000 in October and the unemployment rate fell to 6.9%. The unemployment rate was 10.8% for Black workers and 8.8% for Hispanic workers.

Though jobs were added to the economy last month and the unemployment rate dropped, the number of long-term unemployed, who have been jobless for 27 weeks or more, increased by 1.2 million.

“Americans are told to have three to six months of savings for a rainy day, but, for workers who have lost their jobs as a result of the coronavirus crisis, the last eight months have been a torrential downpour with no end in sight. The only thing standing between these workers and poverty is unemployment benefits, which, for millions of Americans, will expire at the end of this year without further congressional action.

“It is long past time that Senate Republicans join House Democrats in passing a bipartisan relief bill. There is never a good reason to push people into poverty.”

There are 10.1 million fewer jobs than in February, and, as the BLS report found, job growth has decelerated. Last week alone, according to the Department of Labor data released yesterday, more than 1.1 million workers filed new unemployment claims including 738,000 regular state claims.

About Congressman Beyer

Congressman Don 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.

About the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee

The U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee is Congress’s bicameral economic think tank. It was created when Congress passed the Employment Act of 1946. Under this Act, Congress established two advisory panels: the President's Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) and the JEC. Their primary tasks are to review economic conditions and to recommend improvements in economic policy. Chairmanship of the JEC alternates between the Senate and House every Congress. Currently, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) is the Chair and Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA) is Vice Chair.