Memo: August Jobs Day #BeyondTheNumbers

September 3, 2021 Groundwork Collaborative

Groundwork Collaborative wants to make sure you have the full context on the U.S. Labor Department’s August Employment Report and the investments we need for an equitable recovery and a truly inclusive economy. 

Dr. Rakeen Mabud, chief economist at Groundwork, reacted with the following statement: 

“Today’s job report shows us in no uncertain terms that when people around the country are not doing well, the economy is not doing well. Delaying or diluting critical investments when the Black unemployment rate remains at crisis levels and millions are facing a devastating unemployment insurance benefits cliff will hurt all of us.” 

To speak with Dr. Mabud about today’s jobs report and what this means for workers and the economy, please contact Jae Aron at

  • Job growth slowed abruptly in August, adding only 235,000 jobs. The monthly employment data release showed 8.4 million workers were unemployed in August, as the unemployment rate fell slightly to 5.2 percent. 
  • It’s not a full recovery until we’ve all recovered. Even as the overall unemployment rates continue to fall, the Black unemployment rate ticked up to 8.8 percent, and Hispanic and Latinx unemployment remains high at 6.4 percent. 
  • Monday’s unemployment benefit cut-off could not come at a worse time. As the Delta variant wreaks havoc across the nation, cutting millions of people off from life-sustaining benefits is a cruel and completely-avoidable blow to economic recovery efforts. 
  • These jobs numbers underscore that our economy cannot do well until all of us are doing well. The government can help millions of families and boost our economy right now by making long overdue investments in climate, housing, caregiving, and other critical policies that our communities need to thrive.  


About Groundwork Collaborative

The Groundwork Collaborative’s mission is to advance an economic vision for strong, broadly shared prosperity and true opportunity for all. Learn more at and follow us on Twitter @Groundwork.