03.04.16

Rep. Lee Releases Statement on the February Jobs Report

Oakland, CA – Today, the Department of Labor announced that the economy continued to grow steadily in February, creating 242,000 new jobs and holding unemployment steady at 4.9%. February marks the 72nd consecutive month of private sector job growth. Congresswoman Lee, chair of the Democratic Whip Task Force on Poverty, Income Inequality, and Opportunity, released this statement:

“February’s Job Report shows sustained progress in our economic recovery. February marked the 72nd consecutive month of private sector job growth – continuing the longest period of economic growth in our nation’s history. Clearly, President Obama’s efforts to rebuild and strengthen our economy are working.

I was particularly pleased to see that, once again, the Latino unemployment rate declined last month to 5.4 percent. While this is good progress, Latino unemployment still remains much higher than the unemployment rate for white Americans, which stands at 4.3 percent.

There are also deeply troubling numbers in today’s report. For the second month in a row, the African American unemployment rate did not decline. At 8.8 percent, the unemployment rate for African Americans is more than double the unemployment rate for white Americans.

As our economy continues to recover and grow, we need to ensure everyone has the opportunity to benefit from this prosperity. Congress has a responsibility to address persistent poverty and the disproportionate unemployment rates in communities of color. Additionally, we must invest in proven programs that create jobs and spur economic growth, including expanding workforce training programs, rebuilding our nation’s crumbling roads and bridges, and raising the minimum wage while working toward a living wage.”

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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.