Barbara Lee: Economy Is Growing But Disparities Continue


The Department of Labor this week announced that September marked the 67th consecutive month of private sector job growth, marking the continuation of the longest consecutive period of private sector job growth in our nation’s history.


However, despite the improving economy, the recovery has not reached all communities, according to East Bay Congresswoman Barbara Lee, who pointed out that while the African American unemployment rate decreased slightly (0.3) to 9.2 percent, it is still more than twice the rate of white Americans (4.4 percent).


Likewise, the Latino unemployment rate has slightly decreased (0.2) to 6.4 percent, but it remains two full points higher than the white unemployment rate.


“We cannot allow our economic recovery to leave anyone behind,” said Lee. “It’s past time for Congress to create good-paying jobs by investing in our crumbling infrastructure, renewing unemployment insurance for those still struggling to find work and empowering workers with workforce training for the jobs of the 21st century.”


Praising President Obama’s efforts to improve the economy are working. Lee criticized Congressional Republicans who are putting “these gains and our entire economy at risk by hopping from one manufactured crisis to another.”


“This week, House Democrats and a minority of Republicans managed to pass an eleventh hour continuing resolution to avert a government shutdown,” she continued. “More than 150 House Republicans voted to shutter the government, despite the fact that the 2013 GOP shutdown cost our economy more than $24 billion, according Standard and Poor’s.”


“It’s past time for Republicans to end their brinksmanship tactics and sit down with Democrats to chart a responsible path forward. In order to safeguard our economic gains, we must achieve a long-term budget deal and end the job-killing sequester.”


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