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Commerce secretary: US has a 'long way to go to recover from the pandemic'

Commerce secretary: US has a 'long way to go to recover from the pandemic'
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Commerce Secretary Gina RaimondoGina RaimondoUS, EU establish trade and technology council to compete with China On World Oceans Day, we need a sea change Biden administration launches supply chain task force to tackle disruptions MORE said in the wake of an April jobs report that widely missed economists' projections that the U.S. has “a long way to go to recover from the pandemic."

Raimondo told host John Dickerson on CBS’s “Face the Nation” on Sunday that the report shows that “so many Americans are still struggling.”

“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 and they were pre-pandemic, so you know, we are working very hard,” Raimondo said.

The April jobs report, which was released last Friday, showed that U.S. businesses added just 266,000 new jobs over the course of the month, less than the roughly 1 million that economists had projected.

Raimondo said on Sunday that she met with last week with President BidenJoe BidenMellman: Trump voters cling to 2020 tale FDA authorizes another batch of J&J vaccine Cotton warns of China collecting athletes' DNA at 2022 Olympics MORE, who is making “bold moves” to help the economy and American workers.

“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,” Raimondo continued.

Raimondo also admitted that the U.S. has “fallen behind with our investments in the economy,” specifically focusing on struggling women.

“The reality is, we have fallen behind with our investments in the economy, and people are still struggling. Women in particular, still struggling to find affordable childcare, to break down some of the barriers necessary to find a job, to have access to the skills they need to get a good job,” Raimondo said.

The secretary said that women are having a particularly difficult time re-entering the workforce amid the pandemic because they are “clustered in the industries that were hit the most.”

She specifically cited “lower skill service jobs,” including waitressing and working in hotels.

“Those industries were hit the hardest, so women were put out of work in greater numbers. But the reality is, as you say, you know, women are more likely to be the caretakers so lack of affordable childcare hits women the hardest. The fact that schools were closed and many still remain closed hits women harder,” Raimondo added.