03.05.15

Congresswoman Lee Releases Statement on February Jobs Report

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement upon the release of the Department of Labor’s February Jobs Report. The report announced an additional 295,000 jobs were created and the unemployment rate declined to 5.5 percent. February 2015 marked the 60th consecutive month of private sector job growth.

“I am pleased to see the U.S. unemployment rate continuing to decline as businesses hire workers.

Tragically, this recovery remains unequal and too many Americans are still struggling to find work, especially in communities of color.

While I am glad to see the unemployment rate for African Americans has declined more than 1.6% over the past year, it remains disproportionally high. The  African American unemployment rate increased to 10.4 percent this month, more than twice the unemployment rate of white Americans, which is 4.7 percent.

Furthermore, the unemployment rate of 6.6 percent for Latinos continues to be significantly higher than the unemployment rate of their white counterparts.

As our economy continues to recover, we cannot leave anyone behind. I call on my Congressional colleagues to renew unemployment insurance for the millions still struggling, raise the minimum wage while working toward a living wage for those working full-time and invest in America’s infrastructure to create good-paying jobs. This is the Democratic agenda and I hope the Republican leadership joins us in working to create good-paying jobs for all families.”

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Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations Committee, 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.