JEC Chairman Beyer on May Jobs Data
Washington, June 3, 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 390,000 in May and the unemployment rate stayed the same at 3.6%. The unemployment rate was 6.2% for Black workers, 4.3% for Hispanic workers, 2.4% for Asian workers and 4.5% (not seasonally adjusted) for American Indian and Alaska Native workers.
“The latest jobs data showing continued growth underscore the strength of our economic rebound. We’re on the path to a sustainable recovery and broadly shared growth for the long term.
“Under President Biden, the U.S. economy has added 8.7 million jobs, regaining more than 96% of jobs lost during the pandemic and recovering faster than the last four recessions. Overall unemployment remains the lowest since before the pandemic, and although disparities across racial groups persist, we’ve seen unemployment continue to drop across Asian workers and American Indian and Alaska Native workers.
“As funding from the bipartisan Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act goes out the door, we’re seeing particularly strong gains in the sectors essential to addressing supply chains backlogs, many of which are now employing more workers than before the pandemic.
“Our record-breaking economic growth, job gains and new business applications ensure workers and families are more resilient and better positioned to overcome challenges than any other country in the world. The recovery on Main Street continues, despite Wall Street’s chatter of a recession.
“After decades of stagnant wages, current wage growth remains particularly strong among the lowest earners, who had been overwhelmingly excluded from previous wage gains. Data from this morning’s report confirm that wage growth is not contributing to inflationary pressure while helping to offset higher prices.
“But prices are too high for families across the country, and that is why the president has made it his top economic priority to address inflation. The Fed is best positioned to address it in the short term, and the White House and Democrats in Congress have already deployed a range of tools—and are continuing to fight for more—to bring down out-of-pocket costs for U.S. households immediately and to reduce inflationary pressure for the long term. Increasing the oil supply, combatting and investigating corporate profiteering by the oil industry and increasing funding to help with at-home utility costs are helping families weather higher energy costs right now. Democrats’ proposed investments in pre-k and child care, energy independence and climate resilience and affordable housing and healthcare will ensure workers and families keep more of their hard-earned dollars.
“Now is the time for Congress to make investments that generate stronger, more stable and broadly shared growth.”