Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA) released the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that nonfarm payroll employment declined by 140,000 in December and the unemployment rate remained at 6.7%. The unemployment rate was 9.9% for Black workers and 9.3% for Hispanic workers. 

The number of long-term unemployed, who have been jobless for 27 weeks or more, reached almost 4.0 million and now accounts for more than 37 percent of unemployed workers. The American economy has 9.8 million fewer jobs than it had in February. When President Trump leaves office this month, he will become the first president since World War II to leave office with fewer American jobs than when his administration started.

“The recovery has run out of gas in large part because Republicans in Congress waited too long to provide more fuel. We lost ground last month. The relief package passed in December will help, but today’s report makes clear that Congress will need to do much more to support the millions of workers who have lost their jobs and incomes through no fault of their own. As Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell has said, the risk is not doing too much, it is doing too little.

“I am confident that the Democratic House and Senate, working with the Biden administration, will give new hope to American workers and their families. I look forward to working with the new administration and my colleagues to provide additional relief that gets us through this challenging period and lays the groundwork for strong, sustainable growth.”

About Congressman Beyer 

Congressman Don Beyer is currently serving his fourth term in the U.S. House of Representatives, representing Northern Virginia suburbs of the nation’s capital. Beyer was Vice Chair of the Joint Economic Committee in 2020 and is expected to serve as Chairman in the 117th Congress. Beyer also 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.