Washington, D.C. — Center for American Progress Economist Michael Madowitz released the following statement today on the May 2021 employment situation figures from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics:
Today’s jobs numbers show that the effects of the American Rescue Plan and President Joe Biden’s vaccination program are helping Americans get back to work. While the increase in hiring is good news, today’s report also shows that the recovery is not reaching all Americans. Congress faces a choice between a future of renewed economic growth that finally benefits everybody through President Biden’s jobs plans or a stagnant recovery where the same long-term challenges continue to hold families and our economy back.
Even with today’s gains, the Americans who have long been harmed by the country’s deep structural racism and sexism are still facing the worst unemployment rates. More than a year into the pandemic, women have still not recouped the millions of jobs they lost in 2020. In fact, there are still 1.5 million more women’s jobs lost than at the worst point of the Great Recession, likely costing them hundreds of thousands in earnings over their lifetimes. The Latino and Black unemployment rates remain dramatically higher than the unemployment rate for white men. Additionally, workers without education beyond high school have not regained jobs at the same level as workers with associate or bachelor’s degrees. Collectively, these data points indicate that without targeted stimulus that focuses on growing the economy from the bottom up, we will once again face compounding inequalities that will be a long-term drag on economic growth.
Biden’s jobs plan offers a once-in-a-generation chance to chart a new course. President Biden’s plan will grow the economy by not only adding jobs in the short-term but also by tackling long-standing issues that threaten to harm the economy over the long term: ignoring climate change; crumbling roads and bridges; lack of support for children, parents, and caregivers; structural racism and sexism; and a tax code that favors wealthy individuals and corporations. President Biden has laid out a clear, targeted plan. It’s now up to Congress to meet the moment and create a new era of shared economic prosperity.
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