Congresswoman Barbara Lee Calls for More Action to Address Unemployment

Oakland, CA – Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement today after the Department of Labor announced that the economy added 214,000 jobs and the national unemployment rate dropped to 5.8 percent.  The report shows that businesses added 209,000 jobs, making October 2014 the 56th consecutive month of private sector job growth.

“I am pleased to see continued private sector job growth for the 56th consecutive month and a drop in the national unemployment rate.

These newly released statistics show that our economy continues to recover.  Yet, the recovery remains unequal.

African American and Latino seasonally adjusted unemployment rates continue to be significantly higher than the national unemployment rate, 10.9 percent and 6.8 percent, respectively.

We must ensure that the economic recovery reaches all Americans; we cannot allow our economy to leave anyone behind.

In order to address these challenges, I have introduced the Pathways Out of Poverty Act (H.R. 5352) to implement proven policies that will create good paying jobs to lift American families out of poverty and into the middle class while strengthening the social safety net for those still struggling.

Additionally, I was also pleased that over the last year, long-term unemployment declined 1.1 million. These numbers are not declining rapidly enough. I will continue to call on my Congressional colleagues to renew unemployment insurance for the millions of Americans still struggling to find work. Unemployment insurance is a bridge over troubled water for millions of hardworking Americans.”


Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.