Interview: Secretary of Labor Thomas Perez


"We can't keep governing by one manufactured crisis after another. The impact of the shutdown, the impact of the governance by manufactured crisis has been remarkably bad in so many levels. I mean there are many economists trying to quantify the impact in billions of dollars already, but then there's an equally important impact, which is, I've talked to business after business and I hear the same thing: We need certainty. We want to hire, we want to grow our business."

"One thing we know for certain is that uncertainty is never a job creation strategy that will succeed, quite the contrary. And that's what I hear time and time again. And we've seen the impact of this shutdown. I would go to a restaurant that in Washington D.C. would normally be hoppin' at lunchtime, and those waiters were taking home maybe one-third to one-quarter of what they would take home, day in and day out. And that's not cost, by the way. That hotel owner or bed and breakfast owner near one of our national parks, sunk costs, they're not gonna get that money back."

"I think opportunities abound for people seeking work. And let's look at the data: We've had 43 consecutive months of private sector job growth, to the tune of 7.6 million jobs, including 2.3 million in the last year. I talked to business owner after business owner who says, I want to add jobs, I want to bring jobs back home. It's very heartening."

"We need to make sure that we invest in the skills of our workers, and that we align those skills to the demand needs of employers. And that's what we do at the Department of Labor. And so, I do think that opportunities abound. We need to stop managing by manufactured crisis so that more opportunities will abound for people."


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