SPRINGFIELD, MA— Today, House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard E. Neal (D-MA) released the following statement on the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) December 2021 jobs report:
“Under President Biden’s leadership, the U.S. job market had a remarkable comeback in 2021. In just 12 months, we’ve added 6.4 million jobs— the most recorded in a single year—and the unemployment rate has dropped to 3.9 percent. Wages have been rising and workers have more leverage to choose the opportunities that work best for them and their families. In addition, women’s labor force participation rate climbed to the highest level since the pandemic began. These are the markings of an economy on the right track.
“Yet, when the Black unemployment rate is more than double the white unemployment rate and families are still dealing with the realities of no paid time off and child care closings, more must be done. The Build Back Better Act is a key piece of rebuilding our economy to be more equitable and sustainable, and we cannot ignore these glaring disparities. President Biden has made tremendous strides with the tools at his disposal, but for long-term resilience, workers need paid family and medical leave and affordable child care. With these key supports, the economy will work better, especially for people of color and women, who are disproportionately less likely to have them now.
“We’ve been in this pandemic long enough to understand that when the virus surges, our economic progress is threatened. Now is the time for all eligible Americans to get vaccinated and boosted. Vaccines will keep Omicron as short-lived as possible and keep our economy open.”
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