Last week’s Bureau of Labor Statistics July jobs report showed a robust, 943,000-job increase from the month prior and a decrease in the unemployment rate, to 5.4%. However, the fact remains that the U.S. economy is still 6 million jobs short of where it was in February 2020—indicating there is still work to do.
Most notably, stark inequality persists between racial and ethnic groups and between places. For many people and places, the economy had never fully recovered from the Great Recession before the COVID-19 recession began. This ongoing distress has left millions of Americans facing limited prospects for finding well-paying, accessible work—damaging their quality of life.