Today, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), Chairman 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 943,000 in July and the unemployment rate was 5.4%. The unemployment rate was 8.2% for Black workers, 6.6% for Hispanic workers and 5.3% for Asian workers.
“Today’s strong jobs report—over 900,000 jobs added for the second consecutive month, with unemployment dropping to its lowest level since March 2020—combined with last week’s announcement of 6.5% GDP growth in the second quarter of 2021, provides further evidence that our economy is on the right track. We are starting to see a light at the end of this very dark tunnel, and it is a direct result of the Administration’s ongoing vaccination efforts and the income support from the American Rescue Plan making its way through our economy.
“Since President Biden took office, we’ve recovered over 4 million jobs, averaging nearly 700,000 jobs a month—a pace that has exceeded economists’ expectations—and indicating a tightening labor market. Job growth remains well above its pre-pandemic pace and was strong across the board, particularly in leisure and hospitality, which was hardest hit during the pandemic. Workers across the country are securing better jobs with higher wages, putting us on a path to a more equitable future.
“Even as we celebrate almost a million Americans returning to work in July, more needs to be done to ensure that all Americans benefit from a robust recovery. Unemployment among Black and Hispanic workers declined significantly to 8.2% and 6.6%, respectively, but remains well above the white unemployment rate (4.8%). Black Women’s Equal Pay Day on Tuesday reminded us how far into 2021 Black women must work to earn what a typical white man earned in 2020—and we must do better.
“From the American Rescue Plan, we saw how evidence-based investments in people are key to economic growth, and Congress must remain committed to staying the course: Investments like those in the reconciliation bill are the path forward to economic growth that is strong, stable and broadly shared.
“If we are to emerge from this pandemic stronger as a nation, we must prioritize bold investments in our people, who are the foundation of our economy.”