The United States economy is sustaining hit after hit many of which are related to the pandemic and the invasion of Ukraine. White House economic advisor Cecilia Rouse addresses the many concerns of American citizens as it relates to inflation.
How are Black Americans faring in the current state of the economy?
“The Bureau of Labor Statistics released data from May that suggests that the economy created 390,000 jobs in the Black community. We saw that overall Black unemployment seems to have ticked up just a little bit, but what that hides is it actually decreased for African American men. It increased for African American women because more African American women were actually looking for work. That is a very, very good sign because in order for us to get on the other side of this pandemic economy … more workers need to be getting back to work.
Part of the challenge with inflation is that there are not enough workers … As we get to full employment, and we get back to a healthy economy, and as the Federal Reserve tries to address inflation, we will see some moderation in the number of job groups that are healthy.
The President understands that the prices are painful, that gas prices are unacceptably high, food prices are high, and the people are feeling it. He’s doing what he can, a key part that may go unappreciated, of what he’s doing is staying out of the way of the Federal Reserve. Other presidents have told the Federal Reserves they should not address inflation, especially before an election. This President has said “do what you need to do to get inflation under control. I am not going to get in your way.” That is why he met with Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell and Secretary Janet Yellen earlier this week to deliver that message.
He wants to help address those costs for families that we know have been increasing for the last decade or two, which [includes] high prices for prescription drugs and health care, high prices for childcare, high prices for housing and etc. Housing is an important part of the inflation story right now, which is that for the past decade we’ve had a shortage of housing. The President has a plan to get a million more units on the market in the coming years and to completely close the shortfall in the next five years.
Finally, deficit reduction is meant to address inflation. The President’s fiscal responsibility means that this year, we’re on track to see the deficit reduced by $1.7 trillion, which is a historic drop, and that in and of itself will help to reduce these prices. I also want to be clear that the gas and food price increases, especially in the last couple of months, are largely due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine.
He is trying to do what he can … and I would say that we expect inflation to be easing over the next several months.