Congresswoman Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12), Vice Chair of the U.S. Congress Joint Economic Committee, issued the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that nonfarm payroll employment grew by 130,000 in August and the unemployment rate was 3.7 percent. Average hourly earnings increased 3.2 percent from the prior year.

“Today’s job numbers are somewhat disappointing, especially considering temporary Census jobs padded the numbers by 25,000. It’s becoming clear the Trump Administration’s erratic trade policies are hurting businesses and consumers, while the $1.9 trillion Republican tax cut did more to reward the wealthy than provide a lasting boost to workers. I’m concerned that we may see more lackluster jobs numbers in coming quarters, as independent economists and organizations including the Federal Reserve and Congressional Budget Office all forecast economic growth will slow this year and next.”

“And in light of today’s figures, it’s important to remember the millions of Americans left behind. Poor and many middle-class families are still struggling. Black and Hispanic unemployment rates remain above jobless rates for whites and Asians. And the share of women working or seeking work hasn’t fully recovered from the last downturn, as many face discrimination in the workplace or cannot afford to place their children in day care.”

“There’s a lot Congress can do to address these problems. I urge the Senate to pass legislation already approved in the House that would allow federal workers to care for a child or sick family member without facing financial hardship. And it’s important for Congress to approve a bill that would require the Bureau of Economic Analysis to report economic growth by income decile and the top 1 percent. That would help us measure inequality and implement programs and policies to ensure that everyone in this country can enjoy the benefits of economic growth.”

Congresswoman Maloney, author of the Federal Employee Paid Leave Act (H.R. 1534), introduced the bill as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) in June along with Congresswoman Chrissy Houlahan (D-PA) and House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith (D-WA). The legislation, which passed the House in July, would provide 12 weeks of paid leave to federal employees to care for themselves and family members. Congresswoman Maloney also introduced the Measuring Real Income Growth Act (H.R. 707) this Congress and in the 115th Congress. The legislation would require the Bureau of Economic Analysis to publish distributional analyses of gross domestic product.

Press contact: Randy Woods; Randy_Woods@jec.senate.gov; (202) 224-2599