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Response to BumRushDaShow (Original post)

Mon Apr 12, 2021, 01:43 PM

16. Biden Economist Plans To Tackle Economic Disparities Caused By COVID-19

POLITICS

Biden Economist Plans To Tackle Economic Disparities Caused By COVID-19

April 6, 2021 5:03 AM ET
Heard on Morning Edition

AYESHA RASCOE Twitter https://www.twitter.com/ayesharascoe

The economic fallout from COVID-19 hit communities of color hard. One official leading the federal response is Labor Department Chief Economist Janelle Jones, the first Black woman in that post.

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

The pandemic worsened economic equality. So what does the Biden administration plan to do about it? NPR's Ayesha Rascoe talked with Janelle Jones, the chief economist at the Labor Department and the first Black woman to hold that job.

AYESHA RASCOE, BYLINE: Employers added more than 900,000 jobs last month. That's a banner number for any administration, and the unemployment rate dropped to 6%. But Janelle Jones, the first Black woman to serve as the top economist for the Labor Department, says you have to dig further into those numbers.

JANELLE JONES: Whenever someone tells me a headline number or tells me the economy is doing really well, my immediate follow-up question is, for who? And who is being left behind and who is not included?

RASCOE: The answer, as it has been for years, is a lot of the country that is not white or male. With the growth in vaccinations, businesses like restaurants and hotels are making more money and hiring more people. Jones says that's good news for Black and Latino women who are overrepresented in the leisure and hospitality sector. Still, unemployment only fell to 7.9% for Latinos and 9.6% percent for African Americans.

JONES: If the overall unemployment rate was 9.6% for all workers, we would be running around with, like, our heads on fire. That is crisis levels of unemployment.

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