White House one-on-one: What to know about the most recent jobs report

El Paso News

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — President Joe Biden responded to the May jobs report on Friday with good news: the Administration’s plan is working. 

The United States is experiencing consistent job growth while unemployment declines.

“This is progress that’s pulling our economy out of the worst crisis in the last 100 years,” said Biden.

KTSM 9 News spoke one-on-one with Kate Berner, White House Deputy Communications Director, about what the economic landscape means for the Borderland.

“It shows historic progress for American families and the American economy. We’re experiencing a record economic recovery with record job growth, and record wages,” she says.

The U.S. Department of Labor reports that 559,000 nonfarm payrolls were added last month, falling short of the 671,000 jobs economists expected — but progress, no less. 

“In the first four months since the President took office,” says Berner, “more than 2 million jobs were created. It’s over half a million jobs per month.”

The unemployment rate in the U.S. continues to decline, with May’s data reporting the rate dropped from 6.1 percent to 5.8 percent. 

“That rate is the lowest since before the pandemic and continues to decline,” says Berner.

More than 25 percent of small businesses across Texas grappled with reduced unemployment due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with unemployment disproportionately impacting women and people of color. 

More than 4 million women left the workforce from February to April 2020 that dropped women’s participation in the workforce to 57 percent, the lowest it’s been in more than 30 years.

The jobs report for May shows that 56 percent of the 559,000 created last month went to women. 

Despite employment growth for women, Latino and Hispanic populations are still struggling.

Last month, the Latino unemployment rate dropped slightly to 7.3 percent that marks a decline of .6 percent from April.

The Latino unemployment rate remains higher than pre-COVID-19 (4 percent) and is higher than the national average. 

May saw no changes in the Latino workforce participation rate, which stands at 65.3 percent, but did see disparities in unemployment by gender.

The unemployment rate for Hispanic men decreased by .8 percent while unemployment for Hispanic women saw only a .1 percent improvement.

Childcare for Latina and Hispanic women trying to get back into the workforce is a challenge, especially during the summer months.

Latinos and Hispanics continue to be overrepresented in the leisure and hospitality industries, as travel and leisure, dining, and other recreational activities see growth as vaccinated people venture out.

The White House says to expect continued growth and enjoy the return to normality. 

“We hope that families in El Paso continue to be able to get back to work, get those vaccine shots, and have a more normal and successful summer,” says Berner.

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