Congresswoman Lee Responds to August Jobs Report

Oakland, CA – Congresswoman Barbara Lee, chair of the Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality and Opportunity, released the following statement on the Department of Labor’s August Jobs Report. The report shows that the economy added 151,000 jobs in August; since early 2010, the economy has added 15.1 million private sector jobs.

“Today’s jobs report shows that our economy continues to recover and create jobs under President Obama’s leadership. With more than 15 million jobs added since early 2010, it is clear that our economic recovery is strong.

However, we cannot take this economic growth for granted. Congress must continue investing in job creation and workforce training while ensuring that these gains are reaching the paychecks of working families.

Despite this economic growth, the recovery still has not reached many communities, specifically communities of color.

While I am pleased to see the African American unemployment rate decrease slightly to 8.1%, it remains at nearly twice the rate of white Americans (4.3%). Similarly, the Latino unemployment rate (5.6%) remains more than a full point higher than the unemployment rate for white Americans.  Clearly, much work remains to close the racial and economic gaps.

Congress has the power to help address these gaps by raising the minimum wage, investing in infrastructure and expanding vital workforce training. House Democrats have outlined a bold economic agenda that ensures all families share in our nation’s economic growth and have access to opportunity. By contrast, Congressional Republicans have failed to pass any meaningful job creation legislation. The American people can no longer afford inaction; it’s past time for Congress to get back to work.”

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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 Democrat Whip Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality and Opportunity.