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 850,000 in June and the unemployment rate remained statistically unchanged at 5.9 percent. The number of people who reported that they weren't looking for work because of COVID fears declined by one million. The unemployment rate was 9.2 percent for Black workers and 7.4 percent for Hispanic workers.
"Today’s jobs report underscores the significant progress we are making in defeating this virus and advancing a strong recovery. The Administration’s successful vaccine rollout has enabled even especially hard-hit sectors of our economy to reopen, and the American Rescue Plan’s direct support to workers, businesses, and state and local governments has bolstered economic security nationwide. Today’s numbers, combined with yesterday’s nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office report that forecast unemployment rates falling at an even faster pace than previously anticipated, are a clear indication that we are on a path of strong economic growth.
The latest data, which exceeded expectations, show that we have regained 70 percent of the jobs lost during the pandemic. These latest indicators of a strengthening labor market offer an opportunity for us, as a nation, to commit to advancing a recovery that delivers a more equitable economy for all. By investing in our shared infrastructure, in the capabilities of the American people, and in the industries of the future, we can pave the way for a recovery that is strong, stable, and broadly shared.
But, while we see continued progress, Black and Hispanic communities, which were especially hard hit by the pandemic, continue to face structural barriers to rejoining the labor market. We must commit to supporting our greatest economic asset—the American people—through the transition to a new, post-pandemic economy by continuing to invest in the health, well-being, and economic security of this nation."