On the heels of November’s jobs report, Labor Secretary Marty Walsh warned of the “greatest threat to America’s economy.”
“I think the biggest threat to our economy is that we don’t have a good, strong immigration policy,” he said Friday in “Varney & Co.” “Some people are so focused on the southern border, and that’s really not the issue. The immigration issue is how do we make sure businesses and businesses have the ability to employ people.”
Employers added 263,000 jobs in November, the Labor Department said in its monthly payrolls report released Friday, surpassing the 200,000 jobs predicted by Refinitiv economists. It marks a slight deceleration from the upwardly revised employment gain of 284,000 recorded in October. The unemployment rate, meanwhile, remained stable at 3.7%.
THE US ECONOMY CREATED 263,000 JOBS IN NOVEMBER, BETTER THAN EXPECTED AS HIRING REMAINS STRONG
Secretary Walsh stressed that businesses and industries would benefit from a strong immigration policy, helping to attract more people to the job market.
“We have seen a lack of immigration in our country for the past five years, and that is something that needs to be addressed. And I hope the next Congress will have a good conversation and address this issue,” a- he declared. “Every business leader in America that I talk to, everyone has told me that. It’s really important for us to understand the immigration issue.”
LABOR SECRETARY WALSH WARNS OF ECONOMIC ‘DISASTER’ IF CONGRESS DOES NOT PASS IMMIGRATION REFORM
When host Ashley Webster pointed out that the labor force participation rate stood at 62.1% with nearly 6 million Unemployed Americans, Walsh stressed that the Department of Labor must continue to promote opportunities for Americans.
“What we have to do is keep creating opportunities for people to find jobs,” he said. “There are different reasons why people don’t participate in the labor market. And what we want to do is make sure they get back into the labor market…we’re doing everything we can to involve businesses to the workers of this country.”
The Labor Department report highlighted job gains by industry, with leisure and hospitality leading the way in hiring, adding 88,000 new workers. This is followed by health care (45,000), government (42,000) and social assistance (23,000).
However, some sectors saw their payroll decrease last month. Department stores laid off 21,800 workers and transportation and warehousing positions were cut by 15,100.
“We just have to keep doing our job here and keep giving people jobs,” Walsh said in response to the outage.
At the highly anticipated Federal Reserve meeting later this month, Chairman Jerome Powell is expected to announce further rate hikes despite the jobs report. Fed officials have already approved six consecutive hikes, including four consecutive 75 basis point hikes, taking the federal funds rate to a range of 3.75% to 4%. They are widely expected to approve a 50 basis point rate hike at their next meeting on December 13-14, moving interest rates further into restrictive territory.
Secretary Walsh affirmed the Biden administration’s commitment to allowing the Fed to act independently, stressing the need for the Biden administration to do what it can to help the economy as a whole.
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“We have to be very creative here to do our side of the aisle. The Fed makes its policy, and we have our actions on our side.”
Megan Henney of FOX Business contributed to this report.
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