Washington, D.C. — Center for American Progress Economist Michael Madowitz released the following statement today on the July 2020 employment situation figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
After the worst GDP report in U.S. history last week, today’s jobs numbers cement President Donald Trump’s position as the worst jobs president in recorded history. Economists and public health experts have reiterated that we cannot have a real economic recovery without addressing our public health emergency. But six months into the coronavirus crisis, the Trump administration still has its head in the sand and has not even attempted to put forth a coordinated federal response to the pandemic. As a result, more than 12.8 million jobs have been lost—many of which may never return—and the unemployment rate remains at a near-record high.
It’s also important to note that this month’s unemployment number is kept artificially low by the millions of Americans who have been pushed out of the labor force due to the Trump administration’s nonresponse to the public health crisis. In just the past few months, women have lost all the jobs they gained over the past decade. Black and Latino workers have also continued to disproportionately lose jobs. The unemployment rate for Black men stands at 15.2 percent, and the unemployment rate for Latina women is at 14 percent.
Small and large businesses are failing as fearful customers stay away. Parents are being forced to choose between work and child care because schools cannot open for in-person instruction due to the extreme health risk. Millions of laid-off workers have seen their lifeline cut this week as the Senate failed to extend the pandemic unemployment programs, and thousands of first responders and teachers have been laid off by struggling state governments. Every piece of the faltering economy is the conclusion of a story that begins with the Trump administration’s total failure to address the coronavirus crisis.
The callousness and incompetence of President Trump and his allies in Congress are once again on display this week, as the White House and the Senate fail to do what the House of Representatives did months ago: agree on a relief package that would address the depth and scope of the crisis. What is needed right now is clear: the reinstatement of unemployment benefits for the country’s 24 million workers who want a job; resources for hospitals and health care workers; and funds to keep state and local governments afloat; among other priorities. But what is needed most of all is leadership from the federal government to address both the public health and economic crises that have been impoverishing and killing Americans for six months now.
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