Congressional Full Employment Caucus Statement on May Jobs Report
Washington, D.C. – Congressional Full Employment Caucus Co-Chairs Congressman John Conyers, Jr. (D-MI), Congresswoman Marcy Kaptur (D-OH) and Congresswoman Frederica Wilson (D-FL) today released the following statement on May jobs report numbers:
“We are deeply concerned by today’s alarming jobs numbers released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, which show that just 38,000 jobs were created last month—the weakest number in six years. Jobs figures for the previous two months were revised down, bringing the average for the last three months to just 116,000. Although the unemployment rate decreased 0.3% to 4.7%, this reflects increased hopelessness rather than new hiring, as the number of Americans looking for work decreased to 62.6%—a level unseen since the late 1970s. The number of Americans working part-time because they were unable to find full time work increased dramatically to 6.4 million people. Communities of color continue to face crisis-level unemployment rates, showing almost no improvement in employment.
“This disappointing jobs report is sending a powerful message: it is unacceptable for policymakers, including the Federal Reserve, to take any action that harms job and wage growth. This means that raising the interest rate should be off the table, especially considering the impact it would have on communities of color that have yet to share in the economic recovery. As we wrote to Chair Yellen with 124 other House Members and Senators last month, “By fostering genuine full employment, the Federal Reserve can help combat discrimination and dramatically reduce the disproportionate unemployment faced by minority populations.”
“Despite significant progress in recent years, our job market is still too weak to declare victory. Congress must step up to the plate and work with President Obama to expeditiously pass legislation that creates good-paying jobs. President Obama, Congress, and the Federal Reserve must make clear to the American people that job creation remains our top priority.”
The Congressional Full Employment Caucus was launched in February 2014. Members of the Congressional Full Employment Caucus have introduced three bills to address the unemployment crisis and help Americans access good-paying jobs: H.R. 1000, the Humphrey-Hawkins 21st Century Full Employment and Training Act of 2015, H.R.3555, the Jobs! Jobs! Jobs! Act of 2015, and H.R.1966, the 21st Century Civilian Conservation Corps Act. The Congressional Full Employment Caucus serves as a platform and working group for Members of Congress who are dedicated to identifying solutions and advocating for legislative action to reduce unemployment.