WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Kentucky Representative John Yarmuth, Chair of the House Budget Committee, released the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that nonfarm payroll employment increased by 916,000 in March. While the unemployment rate fell to 6 percent, the unemployment rate was 9.6 percent for Black workers and 7.9 percent for Hispanic workers.
“Today’s job’s report makes clear that investing in the health, well-being, and economic security of American families is not only the right thing to do, it is smart economic policy. The American Rescue Plan was enacted less than a month ago, but it has already changed the course of the myriad of crises facing our country.
“However, the gains reported today represent only a fraction of the jobs lost during the pandemic as millions of workers – particularly women and people of color – remain out of work through no fault of their own. The forward-thinking and long-overdue investments outlined in President Biden’s American Jobs Plan will help ensure a strong and inclusive recovery, building on this momentum by creating millions of good-paying jobs and a fairer, more modern economy in the process. I look forward to working with the Biden-Harris Administration and my colleagues in Congress to advance these shared priorities.”
Additional statistics of note:
- The U.S. economy added 916,000 Jobs in March 2021. Total payrolls still have a long way to go, with the economy still 8.4 million jobs short of February 2020 levels.
- The unemployment rate edged down slightly to 6.0 percent. However, given the large number of people who have dropped out of the labor force since the start of the COVID crisis, the real unemployment rate may be much larger (by some estimates as high as nearly 9 percent).
- Racial disparities persist, with Black men facing an unemployment rate almost twice as high as their white counterparts.
- Workers have dropped out of the labor force at alarming rates, as the economy should have 5 million more workers than current levels had the U.S. met 2019 growth projections.
- Much of the gain was driven by a rebound of 110,000 employees in Construction after poor weather in February led to job losses in the previous month. Leisure and hospitality also gained 280,000 jobs, likely because of increasing vaccination rates and better weather.
- State and local employment is starting to show some improvement, though employment levels are still 5-6 percent below their February 2020 levels.
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