June 4, 2020

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March Jobs Report Takes First Virus Hit

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The US Labor’s February 2020 jobs report showing the jobless rate still falling, at 3.5%, with 273,000 job gains. With only a portion of March showing the impact of the economic shutdown forced by the spread of coronavirus, the unemployment rate rose to 4.4%, the largest monthly rate increase since 1975.

“This report doesn’t even show the full extent of the economic pain millions of Americans are experiencing,” said Congressman Steny Hoyer (D-MD), “it only reflects data through the middle of March, before many stay-at-home orders began.

More than 6.6 million Americans filed for unemployment insurance the last week in March. When added to the previous week’s record-shattering 3.3 million newly unemployed, 10 million Americans have now lost their jobs in a shockingly short period of time.  This demonstrates the urgency with which the federal government must step up rather than stand down.

Three bills have passed through Congress to provide tools to fight the pandemic and help families cope with the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

The CARES Act provides hundreds of billions of dollars of incentives for businesses to keep workers on their payrolls through the downturn, provides economic impact payments to most families, and includes an extra $600 a week for those who lose their jobs and seek unemployment insurance benefits.

“Democrats secured an expansion of unemployment insurance providing every single one of these 10 million Americans an extra $600 per week to help them pay their rent or mortgages, buy food, and make ends meet,” Rep. Hoyer said. “Moreover, we made sure that these unemployment benefits would be extended to workers in the gig economy, the self-employed, and contractors.

“The House stands ready to take whatever further action may be necessary. The only way to prevent our hospitals from being overwhelmed is for as many Americans as possible to stay home. We cannot begin to turn our economy back on until public health experts tell us it is safe to do so. House Democrats will continue to do whatever is necessary to help all workers and their families make ends meet and to ensure that their jobs will be waiting for them when it is safe to return to work,” he continued.

Congressman Hoyer said that economy will not fully recover if “we cannot get the coronavirus pandemic under control.”

“We must work together as a nation to protect those who are vulnerable, and we must do our part to prevent hospitals from becoming overwhelmed and facing impossible decisions about who ought to receive lifesaving care,” he said. “America is a resilient nation with a resilient workforce. Today’s unprecedented job losses will be tomorrow’s record of resurgence, accompanied by stories of courage and perseverance as we banded together to defeat this virus and save countless lives.”

Click here to view the March 2020 report.

Follow Congressman Hoyer on Facebook and Twitter.

For more information about House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer, visit his Leader member page.

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