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 reported that nonfarm payroll employment increased by 1.8 million in July and the unemployment rate fell to 10.2%. The unemployment rate was 14.6% for Black workers and 12.9% for Hispanic workers.

The 1.8 million new nonfarm jobs in July follow a loss of 1.4 million jobs in March, a loss of 20.8 million jobs in April, a gain of 2.7 million jobs in May, and a gain of 4.8 million jobs in June—a net loss of nearly 13 million jobs.

“This is no reason for a victory lap around the Rose Garden.

“The gain in jobs is modest in context of the massive net loss we have suffered since February—13 million jobs gone. The unemployment rate is still higher than the very worst of the Great Recession. Almost 15 percent of Black workers cannot find a job.

“If the President had gotten the coronavirus under control, we would have seen a much faster drop in the unemployment rate. But he ignored it instead of fighting it and as a result, more people are getting sick and dying. And with the number of new cases exploding, economic progress is slowing—with signs that things could get worse.

“Meanwhile, Senate Republicans are inflicting unnecessary hardship and anxiety on 30 million Americans by letting enhanced unemployment benefits lapse. They should put people before politics and provide the help that Americans desperately need."

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.