SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A special lunch was held at the Sheraton in Springfield for the Western Mass Economic Development Council. Among those speaking: Congressman Richard Neal.

Congressman Richard Neal explained this as an opportunity to show his work on Capitol Hill with local industry leaders.

The Council provides information and resources to local businesses through networking, expansion, and relocation. At the forefront of the annual meeting: questions about addressing inflation and local business needs.

In a one on one interview with 22News, Congressman Richard Neal said one thing he felt he needed to emphasize in his speech was the resiliency of the US economy.

“March 11th 2020, Doctor Fauci gave us his warning,” Congressman Neal said. “We lost 22 million jobs in three months. Mid-summer all of those jobs will be back. And the Bureau of Labor and Statistics reported this morning there are 11.5 million jobs that go unanswered everyday.”

That data put out Wednesday by the Bureau of Labor and Statistics found job openings went down by nearly a half a million in April.