Scott Statement on May Jobs Report

June 5, 2020
Press Release

As originally released by the Committee on Education & Labor

WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the economy added 2.5 million jobs in May with the unemployment rate at 13.3  percent.

“Today’s jobs report is evidence of Congress’ strong initial response to this crisis, but it does not diminish the devastating and unprecedented scale of the economic hardship facing workers and families across the country.  On average since this crisis began, weekly unemployment claims have been nearly six times higher than the pre-pandemic record set during the Great Recession.

“While the overall numbers are encouraging, they also include critical warnings about the crisis facing state and local governments, including public education. Local governments shed 310,000 education jobs over the last month. At a time when schools are facing higher costs and difficult challenges, we are at risk of experiencing a wave of teacher layoffs in school districts across the country.  

“This historic economic crisis requires a historic federal response. Last month, with the passage of the Heroes Act, the House took a critical step toward providing workers, families, and communities the relief that they need. The Heroes Act would direct nearly $1 trillion to state, local, territorial, and tribal governments who desperately need funds to pay health care workers, first responders, teachers, and other essential workers.  The relief package also calls for an additional round of stimulus checks, greater access to paid leave, and a continuation of expanded unemployment benefits that have provided a vital safety net for millions of Americans. 

“The recovery effort is just beginning. Majority Leader McConnell should immediately begin working with House Democrats to pass the Heroes Act, which would sustain our economy in the weeks and months ahead. As this report shows, decisive congressional action can produce results for the American people.”