Washington, D.C.—Today, Congressman Don Beyer (D-VA), Vice 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 1.4 million in August, a deceleration in job growth from the numbers reported in June and July.

BLS also found that the unemployment rate in August fell to 8.4%. The unemployment rate was13.0% for Black workers and 10.5% for Hispanic workers.

Before Labor Day 2019, total non-farm employment in the United States was 151.2 million. Total non-farm employment is currently 140.9 million—10 million fewer jobs fewer than at the same time last year.

“American workers have lost a lot of ground since last Labor Day. Ten million jobs have disappeared. Almost 14 million Americans are forced to collect unemployment. And 12 million Americans have lost their employer-sponsored health coverage—in the middle of a life-threatening pandemic.

“At the convention last week, President Trump and his party were celebrating as if the economy was booming and the coronavirus had been contained. They are strangely out of touch with what is really going on in America.

“During sworn testimony Tuesday before the Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus, Treasury Secretary Mnuchin said that restoring the federal unemployment benefits supplement and direct payments to families is critical to the nation’s recovery. Democrats could not agree more, which is why the $3 trillion Heroes Act passed by the House in May restores both of these relief measures.

“Now, nearly four months later with 40 million people facing eviction, Senate Republicans are still hemming and hawing about how much is too much relief to give Americans and their families. For whatever reason Senate Republicans cannot see what the rest of us are seeing: as relief from the federal government has slowed—or stopped altogether in some cases—so has the recovery.”

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.