Black Experience

HBCU Grad is First Black Woman Picked as Chief Labor Economist

The Biden administration has chosen a Spelman graduate as chief economist for the Department of Labor.

Janelle Jones, 36, the first African American woman to serve in the role, will head the department’s research and initiatives division, Black Enterprise reported.

“I’m very excited to announce I have joined the Biden Administration as the Chief Economist at DOL,” Jones tweeted. “I am excited to help build back a better economy where workers, especially those usually left behind, are safe, secure, & empowered at the workplace. Let’s get to work!”

Jones takes the reins amid levels of unemployment not seen since the Great Recession. More than 10 million Americans are currently out of work amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, with Blacks and Hispanics bearing the brunt of the damage, according to the latest Labor Department statistics.

The jobless rate for Black workers is 9.2%, followed by Hispanic workers at 8.6%. The rate for Asian workers is at 6.6% and for white workers, 5.7%.

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