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 266,000 in April and the unemployment rate was 6.1%. The unemployment rate was 9.7% for Black workers and 7.9% for Hispanic workers.
“Today’s unexpected jobs numbers underscore the uncertainty that still exists as a result of the economic damage caused by the pandemic. Progress is being made, but it is clear that we have a long way to go before our economy is back on solid ground.
“While the American Rescue Plan provided much needed emergency relief for the American people, big, bold action is required to recover the 8.2 million jobs we are still down since the beginning of the pandemic and ensure sustained economic growth. President Biden’s American Jobs Plan and American Families Plan, and their once-in-a-century investments in physical and human infrastructure, represent this type of big, bold action.
“Ten million Americans are still looking for work, and many of them have been since the beginning of the pandemic. In addition, the unemployment rate rose last month, and unemployment in general remains much higher than it was before the pandemic—especially for Black and Latino workers. This is why it is more important than ever to reform our nation’s unemployment insurance system—with benefits tied to economic conditions—so those who are trying to pay their rent and put food on the table get unemployment insurance when they need it and for as long as they need it.”