Chairman Neal Statement on the June 2020 Jobs Report

Jul 2, 2020
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) released the following statement regarding the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) June 2020 jobs report:

“Anyone who looks at these jobs numbers with glee either lacks an understanding of their context or is deliberately ignoring the grim reality our nation faces. I have said this repeatedly for months now: until we successfully address the public health crisis, our economy will not be able to bounce back successfully and jobs will not permanently return.

“These numbers reflect the re-opening of certain industries in some states that occurred in late May and early June. But along with the re-employment of temporarily laid-off workers, those preemptive re-openings had another major impact: a dismaying resurgence of COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. This BLS survey data was collected prior to the new spike in virus cases, and thus does not account for all the re-closings of restaurants, bars, and other places of business that have occurred since the end of June in response to increasingly dangerous conditions.

“Underlying the overall jobs numbers in this report are troubling, sustained trends. We see a continued increase in permanent layoffs and long-term unemployment. We also see disparities in unemployment along racial lines – the unemployment rates for Black Americans is 15.4 percent, Asian Americans is 13.8 percent, and Hispanic Americans is 14.5 percent.

“The U.S. economy has a long way to go before it escapes the COVID-19 recession, and all signs indicate that workers and their families are poised to endure many more months of joblessness and financial struggle. Yet under current law, emergency unemployment benefits are set to end on July 31. Americans cannot afford to lose this lifeline, which has kept them afloat and benefitted the broader economy. More than a month ago, House Democrats voted to extend this assistance through the end of the year. To prevent even greater pain and suffering in our nation, the Senate must do the same.”

Yesterday, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) issued a report illustrating the harmful effects ending Federal Pandemic Unemployment Compensation (FPUC) will have, particularly on women, young workers, and communities of color. More information on CBO’s analysis is available HERE.

A Ways and Means Committee analysis showing the average benefit cuts for workers in each state, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. territories following the FPUC’s expiration can be found HERE.