After last week's disappointing jobs report, U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo said on CBS' "Face the Nation" Sunday that the economy has a long way to go before it fully recovers from a more than yearlong global health crisis.
RAIMONDO: "I think we have a long way to go to recover from the pandemic. There are so many Americans still struggling, 8 million fewer jobs than there were pre-pandemic. So, you know, we are working very hard. In fact, we had a meeting with the president on Friday and that was his direction to us, which is: we are making bold moves but there's a long way to go and we have to be there to help Americans find jobs."
U.S. job growth unexpectedly slowed last month, likely restrained by shortages of workers and raw materials. Non-farm payrolls increased by only 266,000 jobs, well below the nearly 1 million jobs economists expected and a sharp contrast to steady increases in growth from January to March.
Raimondo said women have been particularly hard-hit, noting that many work in industries impacted the most, including lower-skilled service jobs, and said a lack of affordable child care and school closures have made matters worse.
The U.S. commerce secretary rejected some Republicans' contention that people are reluctant to return to work because they are receiving unemployment insurance, saying nothing in the data supported that argument.
RAIMONDO: "The number one reason now that people aren't going back to work is what you said: fear. Or if they can't find childcare or schools are still closed. So we'll monitor it as necessary but, right now, we don't think that's the reason people aren't able to go back to work."
The Biden administration has said the $1.9 trillion pandemic relief package is helping to bring the economy back, and the president is now pushing for another $4 trillion in new investments.