Economy and Jobs

We all know that the current economic climate has taken a toll on many families across the nation and that the economy has been slow to recover from the deep recession. Congressman Scott believes the best long-term way we can create jobs and get people back to work is investing in education and training, beginning with early education and continuing through college or vocational education, as well as adult education and training.  A well-educated workforce is more important today than ever before. With the rapid development of this global marketplace, the United States is no longer the single dominant country in the world and American's competitive advantage is a well educated workforce.

Large and targeted investments in workforce development are long overdue and it is time that they are addressed in Washington. Congress recently seized upon the opportunity to do this through reuathoization of the Workforce Investment Act (WIA), which expired in 2003. WIA is the main federal legislation that coordinates federal workforce development programs. Congressman Scott supported the reauthorization of WIA through the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act, which included an enhanced definition of “individuals with barriers to employment” that explicitly includes older workers over the age of 55 as well the long-term unemployed.  This explicit inclusion means that state and local workforce plans must include goals and strategies for serving these and other disenfranchised groups.  Additionally, the new law requires that 75% of youth funding in the bill support out-of-school youth, sometimes referred to as "opportunity youth" for the opportunites they represent for their communities.  When kids drop out of school they are much more likely to get into trouble and commit crimes.  And once a juvenile falls off of the right track, he or she will face a range of problems and taxpayers will be on the hook for the cost of incarcerating these individuals.   By investing in opportunity youth, Congressman Scott believes that we are investing money on the front end so we don't end up footing the bill later on.  

Many believe that during these tough fiscal times we cannot afford to invest in job creation. But Congressman Scott believes that the choice is clear - we must invest in education and job training so that we have a strong workforce and strong nation for future generations. We can choose to put funding towards direct job creation programs, such as transportation and infrastructure projects. This will help accelerate our recovery, putting millions back to work, and gradually return our budget to balance over the next decade, all without jeopardizing Social Security or Medicare or other important social safety net programs. As Chairman of the Committee on Education and Labor, Congressman Scott is the lead sponsor in the House of Representatives of the Raise the Wage Act, which would gradually raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2024. This bill would be good for workers, business and the economy. 

More on Economy and Jobs

November 1, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the economy added 128,000 jobs in October with the unemployment rate at 3.6 percent. “Today’s report– combined with other recent economic data – raises more questions about the impact of the Trump administration’s policies on the American economy. Despite 108 consecutive months of private-sector job growth (75 of which were under the Obama administration) wages for American workers are still failing to keep pace with the cost of living.
October 7, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Education and Labor Committee Chairman Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03) and Subcommittee on Workforce Protections Chair Alma Adams (NC-12) sent a letter to Department of Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia urging the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to strengthen monitoring and protections for engineered stone fabrication workers at high risk of silicosis and other silica-related diseases.
October 4, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the economy added 136,000 jobs in September and the unemployment fell to 3.5 percent. “Today’s jobs report raises serious concerns about the consequences of a prolonged trade war for American workers. Even before the president provoked a needless trade war with China, working-class and middle-class workers were struggling to cover the rising costs of housing, child care, and college. Estimates now indicate that President Trump’s trade war has already cost 300,000 American jobs—and job losses are projected to reach 450,000 by the end of the year if it is not resolved.
September 6, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the economy added 130,000 jobs in August and the unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent. “Despite a consistently low unemployment rate, today’s jobs report adds to extensive evidence showing that millions of Americans are suffering from inadequate wage growth in an economy that is simply not working for everyone. Moreover, President Trump’s needless trade war with China has actually hurt the American manufacturing sector and done nothing to raise workers’ wages.
August 2, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the economy added 164,000 jobs in July and the unemployment rate held at 3.7 percent. “After 106 straight months of private sector job growth, workers and middle-class families are still not receiving a fair share of economic growth. Today’s jobs report adds to an extensive body of evidence showing that the low unemployment rate is not resulting in sufficient wage growth for millions of Americans.
July 30, 2019 Press Release
NEWPORT NEWS, VA – Representatives Bobby Scott (VA-03) and Donald McEachin (VA-04) will host a town hall meeting in Chesapeake, Virginia. This town hall will be an opportunity for constituents to learn more about the Representatives’ efforts to protect access to affordable health care, as well as hear more about the critical legislation House Democrats have passed in the first 200 days of the new Congress. This will be an opportunity for residents of the 3rd and 4th congressional districts to provide comments and ask questions.
July 18, 2019 Press Release
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the House voted to pass the Raise the Wage Act, which gradually raises the minimum wage to $15 by 2025. “Today, House Democrats took a major step toward raising wages for up to 33 million American workers. After more than 10 years with no increase in the federal minimum wage – the longest stretch in history – the minimum wage is now a poverty wage everywhere in America.
July 18, 2019 Floor Statements

Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

   Mr. Speaker, the idea behind the Federal minimum wage is simple: Hardworking Americans should be paid at least enough to provide for themselves and their families.

   After more than a decade with no increase in the minimum wage, the longest stretch since the minimum wage was established in 1938, it is no longer serving that purpose.

   Today, the Federal minimum wage is a poverty wage in every region of our Nation. Our Nation's workers deserve better.

July 17, 2019 In The News
After nearly seven in 10 voters in Arkansas decided to increase the state’s minimum wage, Rep. Bobby Scott, D-Newport News, is betting the four GOP members of Congress who represent that state will have a tough time voting against his proposal for a gradual increase in the federal minimum. That federal minimum wage has been set at $7.25 an hour since 2009. Arkansas began raising its minimum in 2014, and voted again last November for another increase.In fact, says Scott, even by 2021, the $11 an hour minimum wage that Arkansas voters set will be higher than the gradual increases his measure would phase in. Scott aims to bring the national minimum to $15 an hour in gradual steps over the next six years.
July 15, 2019 Floor Statements

Mr. SCOTT of Virginia. Mr. Speaker, we are considering the Raise the Wage Act later this week. That proposal will gradually increase the Federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, and after that, adjust for inflation.

   I thank the gentleman from Nevada (Mr. Horsford) for convening this Special Order to discuss the minimum wage on behalf of the Congressional Black Caucus, because this gives us an opportunity to explore the historic and continuing intersection between race and the Federal minimum wage.