Chairman Beyer Statement on August Jobs Report
Washington, September 3, 2021
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 235,000 in August and the unemployment rate was 5.2%. The unemployment rate was 8.8% for Black workers, 6.4% for Hispanic workers and 4.6% for Asian workers.
“Today’s jobs numbers remind us that economic recovery hinges on controlling the spread of the coronavirus. Recovering from the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression will not be without its challenges, and with strong leadership, we can continue to rise to meet them.
“Since President Biden took office, we’ve recovered almost 4.5 million jobs, averaging 636,000 jobs a month, and the unemployment rate has dropped to 5.2%, a pandemic-era low. Yesterday, we learned that weekly unemployment claims reached their lowest level since before the pandemic—down from a pandemic high of over 6 million, and more than halving in fewer than six months.
“In the first half of 2020, our economy grew at the fastest rate in nearly 40 years, bringing GDP above its pre-pandemic peak—a direct result of the President’s campaign to expand vaccine access and availability. Shots in arms remain our most effective tool against the coronavirus, making them one of the most pro-growth economic policies we have right now. We must redouble our efforts to improve our vaccination rates to ensure the continuation of a strong economic recovery.
“Labor Day is coming up, and we recognize the contributions and achievements of U.S. workers. Yet in today’s jobs data, we see persistent racial and gender inequality—evidence of the pervasive structural barriers in the labor market that hinder our economy's progress toward full employment and constrict the pathways to economic growth that is strong, stable, and broadly shared.
“The American Rescue Plan provided much needed emergency relief for the American people and laid the foundation for a sustainable and equitable recovery. Democrats in Congress remain committed to investing in U.S. workers and families—who are the foundation of our economy—through the Build Back Better Act to build economic resilience and promote shared prosperity.”