It will take time and effort to heal this economy, but the May jobs data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows we’re headed in the right direction.
In May, we added 559,000 jobs to the economy, and the unemployment rate was 5.8% – down from 6.1% in April, the lowest it has been since March 2020. This means that our efforts through the American Rescue Plan to support working families, small businesses, child care providers and schools are working.
The number of people experiencing long-term unemployment (more than 27 weeks) dropped by 431,000 – the largest drop since 2011. Americans are motivated to get back to work, and our vaccination efforts are helping them return safely.
This data matches what I’ve heard as I travel around the country talking to workers. From early educators in Tennessee to power plant workers in Wisconsin, to steel fabricators and home health aides in Pennsylvania: working people across America are eager to work, support their families and strengthen their communities.
I also hear about the systematic challenges working families face, and our jobs data reflects it. Finding affordable child care, caring for elderly parents and grandparents, and overcoming hurdles raised by decades of income inequality and race- and gender-based inequity remain barriers to success for families.
This is why the American Jobs Plan and the American Families Plan are so important. We need to invest in our workforce and our communities to achieve an inclusive recovery and a competitive economy.