Scott Statement on October Jobs Report
WASHINGTON, DC – Chairman Bobby Scott (VA-03) issued the following statement after the Bureau of Labor Statistics announced that the economy added 638,000 jobs in October with the unemployment rate at 6.9 percent.
“For months now, President Trump has made misleading claims about the economy despite the fact that the country is facing one of the worst economic and public health crises in history. Today’s jobs report is further evidence of how this administration’s failed response to the pandemic continues to hurt Americans.
“Last month, the unemployment rate inched down to 6.9 percent overall and 10.8 percent for Black workers — indicating the economic recovery is dramatically slowing down as COVID-19 cases surge in nearly every state. What’s more, 751,000 Americans filed new unemployment insurance claims just last week, far exceeding the record high number of unemployment claims posted by any previous president (695,000 claims in October 1982). On top of that, nearly 363,000 Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) claims were filed. In fact, initial unemployment claims under President Trump for each of the last 33 consecutive weeks have exceeded unemployment claims under any other president in the history of the program. As of mid-October, 21.5 million Americans were receiving unemployment compensation, compared to 1.4 million claims in the same week last year. Record high unemployment is not a reflection of a successful economy.
“Let’s be clear: President Trump claiming economic success is a form of gaslighting the American people. The president did not inherit an economy in distress — he followed a record of job growth that he failed to match even before he mishandled the pandemic. The reality is not a single year of President Trump’s first three years of job growth exceeded any of President Obama’s last three years in office.
“We have the tools to stop the pandemic and save our economy. But the economy cannot be restored until after we end the pandemic. Unfortunately, this administration has been more interested in playing politics than truthfully coming to grips with the reality of the pandemic. Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell again stated yesterday that, without additional relief from Congress, the current downturn will be longer, deeper, and more painful. I once again call on President Trump and Senate Republicans to support a comprehensive coronavirus relief package and work with us to crush the virus once and for all.”