Chairman Beyer on January Jobs Day Data: “Today’s data blew expectations out of the water”
Washington, February 4, 2022
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 467,000 in January and the unemployment rate was steady at 4.0%. The unemployment rate was 6.9% for Black workers, 4.9% for Hispanic workers, 3.6% for Asian workers and 11.1% (not seasonally adjusted) for American Indian and Alaska Native workers.
“Today’s data blew expectations out of the water and continue to show a year of record-breaking economic gains under President Biden. January’s jobs report shows broad-based recovery that remains resilient in the face of challenges such as the Omicron variant, and thanks to widely available vaccinations and accessible testing, workers are able to safely return to work.
“President Biden has now overseen the most job growth in a single year by any U.S. president in recorded history—averaging 551,000 per month for more than 6.6 million jobs since he took office—and providing further proof that the American Rescue Plan and other investments helped ensure families, workers and businesses could weather the largest recession since the Great Depression.
“The breadth of evidence tells a remarkable story about how workers are faring today, including yesterday’s unemployment claims, which are down for the second week in a row and provide more evidence that the uptick during Omicron’s peak in mid-January is subsiding. This is thanks, in part, to the federal government’s massive campaign to expand access to rapid testing and high-quality masks. Annual gross domestic product growth in 2021 was the highest it’s been since 1984, and President Biden’s first year in office saw the largest calendar year decrease in unemployment in recorded U.S. history. The United States has now recovered 87% of the jobs lost during the worst of the pandemic, putting us on a path to full labor market recovery this year.
“Congress is making investments to sustain this economic growth for the long-term and create high-quality jobs here, in the United States. Investments like the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act and the America COMPETES Act will create domestic manufacturing jobs and ensure our competitive edge internationally.
“Even as we recognize the incredible progress over the past year, Black unemployment remains more than twice the rate of white unemployment, a persistent trend that indicates pervasive structural barriers. Black History Month offers a specific opportunity to recognize the invaluable contributions of Black Americans, but we must also reckon with the legacy of discrimination as we advance policies that address racial inequality in all its forms.”