Neal Statement on April 2021 Jobs Report

May 7, 2021
Press Release

SPRINGFIELD, MA— Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) released the following statement on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) April 2021 jobs report:

“The labor market is still very much healing, and while this month’s jobs report is disappointing, this week, we saw the lowest level of unemployment claims since the pandemic began. We have momentum behind us, but it is clear that Americans are still struggling and in need of sustained support. There is a lot of ground to make up to return to pre-pandemic levels of employment and to address the real concerns Americans have about returning to work. Millions of workers are still weighing if they can even afford child care or caregiving if they return to work, and we know this is disproportionately keeping women from re-entering the workforce.

“Anyone who points to the availability of unemployment benefits as the root cause of these sluggish numbers is ignoring the clear evidence that throughout the pandemic, workers returned to work regardless of the financial cost or health risk. Americans want to work, but we cannot ignore their reality. Their wages have been stagnant while living costs have skyrocketed—all while the virus is still a very real threat to their lives. Our pre-pandemic economy was broken for too many hard-working Americans, and this month’s report validates that the status quo will not bring it roaring back.

“The moment to make big, bold investments in an economy that will finally prioritize workers and their needs has met us, and the Ways and Means Committee stands ready to join the Biden Administration in delivering for the American people. Using the Committee’s Building an Economy for Families Act as a blueprint, we will give Americans the peace of mind they need to return to the workforce while laying a strong foundation for the inclusive, sustainable economy our country deserves.”