Labor Secretary Marty Walsh said that the disappointing jobs report released Friday for September wasn’t all “doom and gloom,” as it also contained some “bright spots.”
“Certainly, we know, I would love to be on this show saying we added 3 million jobs to the economy and now we can go on to something else,” Walsh said on “CNN Newsroom.” “Unfortunately we’re still, we’re not there yet.”
The bright spots, he said, included the women’s participation unemployment rate, which is down to 4.2%, and that unemployment among Black women is down to 7.3%.
“This is not all doom and gloom here today,” said Walsh, adding that the weak job growth proves the need for Congress to approve President Joe Biden’s “Build Back Better Agenda” priority programs.
“I would hope that members of Congress and members of the Senate today look at this jobs report and see where the shortfalls are and understand that these investments that the President wants to make in these areas will have long-term, lasting, positive impacts on our economy moving forward,” Walsh said.
His comments came before President Joe Biden spoke about the report and attributed the numbers to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic, while still framing the data as showing progress toward economic recovery.
“Today’s report is based on a survey that was taken during the week of September 13,” Biden pointed out. “Not today, September the 13th — when COVID cases were averaging more than 150,000 per day. Since then, we’ve seen the daily cases fall by more than one-third and they’re continuing to trend down, and we’re continuing to make progress.”
The report showed that U.S. employers added only 194,000 jobs in September, marking the second month in a row that far fewer jobs were added than expected.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that the unemployment rate declined to 4.8% in September, down from 5.2% in August. Joblessness also dropped across the board, with the Black unemployment rate falling most, from 7.9% in September from 8.8% in August.