Memo: July Jobs Day By the Numbers
August 6, 2021 Groundwork Collaborative
Groundwork Collaborative wants to make sure you have the full context on the U.S. Labor Department’s July Employment Report and the investments we need for an equitable recovery and a truly inclusive economy.
Lindsay Owens, executive director of Groundwork Collaborative, explained to Forbes how allowing unemployment benefits to expire next month will disproportionately harm Black and brown workers who face higher rates of long-term unemployment: “The historic inequities in the labor market will be laid even more bare.”
- This month’s jobs report showed strong jobs growth, adding 943,000 jobs. In July, 8.7 million workers were unemployed and the unemployment rate dropped to 5.4%. 3.4 million workers are counted as long-term unemployed — still 2.3 million more than pre-pandemic levels.
- We won’t have a full economic recovery until Black and Latinx workers, who have long faced structural barriers to employment and good jobs, reach full employment — and we have a long way to go. Black workers continue to face crisis-level unemployment rates at 8.2%, still nearly double the unemployment rate for white workers. The unemployment rate for Hispanic/Latinx workers is also high at 6.6%.
- With 5.7 million jobs to go before we reach pre-pandemic levels, now is not the time to pull back on unemployment insurance benefits. Prematurely cutting off critical lifelines, like unemployment insurance, would disproportionately harm Black and brown workers; hamper economic growth and productivity in local economies by as much as $12 billion; and even discourage job searching.
- The bottom line: We have a once-in-a-generation chance to build an economy that works for all of us. By prioritizing care investments, making the expanded Child Tax Credit permanent, repairing our UI system, expanding access to safe and affordable housing, and curbing the climate crisis, we can begin to undo the damage done by decades of disinvestment and create millions of good-paying jobs.