February 10,2021

Wyden Statement on Powell Economic Assessment

Washington, D.C.—Senate Finance Committee Chair Ron Wyden, D-Ore., today released the following statement on Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell’s speech at the Economic Club of New York:

“Federal Reserve Chair Powell’s assessment of joblessness in America is bleak. Given that 5 million workers have dropped out of the labor force, the jobless rate is 10 percent, not 6.3 percent. Chair Powell also emphasized that working class Americans continue to experience Great Depression levels of joblessness, with unemployment reaching 17 percent. Even more troubling, Chair Powell emphasized that while the situation has improved for upper-income workers, there has been no progress for workers of more modest means. That bears repeating—there’s been no progress for those workers who are the least financially secure. Chair Powell’s assessment reiterates the need for the strongest possible benefits package in our COVID relief bill, which is why I’m going to continue to push for at least a $400 weekly boost and six months of enhanced benefits.”