01.09.15

Congresswoman Lee Statement on December Jobs Report

Washington, DC – Congresswoman Barbara Lee released the following statement upon the release of the Department of Labor’s December Jobs Report. The report announced an additional 252,000 jobs were created and the unemployment rate declined to 5.6 percent, the lowest unemployment rate since June 2008.  Businesses added 240,000 jobs making December 2014 the 58th consecutive month of private sector job growth.

“I am pleased to see the U.S. unemployment rate continue to decline and businesses continue to 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 a 0.6 percent decline in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate for African Americans, the unemployment from African American rate is 10.4 percent, more than twice the unemployment rate of white Americans, which is 4.8 percent.

Furthermore, the unemployment rate of 6.5 percent for Latinos, while also declining, 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 to find work, raise the minimum wage for those working full-time while still living in poverty and invest in America’s infrastructure to create good-paying American jobs. This is the Democratic agenda and I hope the Republican caucus joins us in working to create good-paying American jobs for all American 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.