Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), the incoming Chair 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 245,000 in November and the unemployment rate dropped to 6.7%. The unemployment rate was 10.3% for Black workers and 8.4% for Hispanic workers.

The number of long-term unemployed, who have been jobless for 27 weeks or more, increased by 385,000 to 3.9 million. For many of these workers, their unemployment benefits have expired or will expire at the end of the year. Yet, since May, Senate Republicans have refused to pass a relief bill extending these benefits and others.

Currently, the American economy has 9.8 million fewer jobs than it had in February. When President Trump’s term ends in January, he will become the first president since World War II to leave office with fewer American jobs than when his administration started.

“Job growth slowed again last month and our economy is still unhealthy. In fact, with coronavirus cases, hospitalizations and deaths reaching record numbers across the country, we are heading into a situation that may be even worse than the spring. President Trump and Senate Republicans should be ashamed.

“Christmas is in three weeks, rent was due a few days ago and millions of Americans are on the verge of hunger and homelessness. However, instead of passing a relief bill that the Federal Reserve Chair and economists say is sorely needed, Senate Republicans have been confirming judge after judge—filling the federal bench while Americans fill hospitals across the country.

“The leader of their party has been doing even less than they have—sulking and seeking revenge for an election he lost definitively, while Americans pay with their lives and livelihoods.

“Workers and their families, as well as businesses and state and local governments, need relief now—especially as many federal relief programs are set to expire at the end of the year. They do not have time to wait for President Trump and Senate Republicans to do what anyone with a heart would do—protect people during a pandemic.”

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.