Memo: September Jobs Day #BeyondTheNumbers

October 12, 2021 Groundwork Collaborative

As Congress debates President Biden’s Build Back Better legislation, the September Jobs Report makes one thing clear: more public investment is needed to achieve full economic recovery and ensure a more resilient and inclusive economic future. As Groundwork Collaborative’s Executive Director Lindsay Owens told the New York Times this week: 

“If the final package fails to meet this moment, it will be a squandered opportunity of historic consequence. These aren’t just numbers on a page or props for political posturing — every dollar represents real investments in climate, housing, caregiving, and other critical programs our communities need to survive and thrive.”

Email to speak to Groundwork’s team of economists and policy experts about the September jobs numbers and the policies and investments needed to build an economy that works for everyone.


  • We cannot afford to get complacent when millions of people around the country aren’t yet feeling the recovery. Our recovery has been deeply unequal: the Black unemployment rate remains at a crisis level of 7.9% while Hispanic and Latinx workers face disproportionately high unemployment of 6.3%. The unemployment rate for white workers is 4.2%. 
  • The pandemic exacerbated these deep inequalities in our labor market but it did not create them. For decades, policymakers have gutted public investments, cut taxes for wealthy people and corporations, and enacted racist and sexist policies that have systematically devalued the work of women and workers of color. 
  • Strong social safety net measures make our labor market stronger, build worker power, and are essential to an equitable and just recovery. Research shows that policies like unemployment insurance and the Child Tax Credit put more money in peoples’ pockets, which in turn powers consumer spending, generating growth that reverberates throughout the economy.
  • Our economy works best when it works for all of us. We can finally begin to undo the damage done by decades of failed austerity policies by extending the expanded Child Tax Credit, committing to investments in care infrastructure and climate resilience, expanding access to health care, and repairing our unemployment insurance system.


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.